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Cameron should be ashamed, say East Lancashire foodbank charities
MINISTERS have been accused of breaking an agreement with food banks set up to help the unemployed.
David Cameron said that job centres had started referring people to the sites if they needed handouts, but food banks in the area are angered by his comments.
Caroline Collins, of the Raft Foundation food bank in Rossendale, said they didn’t receive any referrals from the job centre, but many of their referrals did come after a benefit or pension payment was delayed.
She said: “Cameron’s comments are appalling. He should be ashamed that mistakes in the system are making people go hungry.
“We recently provided food parcels for a couple in their 80s who had to wait weeks for their pension payments to come through. That’s their money that they have worked for, it’s not the government’s money and they have every right to expect to access it immediately.
“They were left with 23 pence in their pocket and nowhere to turn.”
A spokesman for the Trussell Trust, the charity which runs Blackburn food bank said: “We’re delighted that David Cameron understands the importance of enabling job centres to refer people in crisis to food banks.
“The DWP entered into a partnership agreement with the Trussell Trust in 2011, which had been working reasonably well until recently.
“But we are deeply concerned that some people within DWP are doing their best to block the agreement that makes this possible.
“Now, there is real confusion within government about food banks and the agreement has been broken without consultation.”
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