Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Something to think about - please read with compassion.

 Beth posted this on Facebook and I though it worth a different audience.  Copied and pasted, typos and all.  No editing whatsoever.


"There have always been hungry kids.

15 years ago, one of the best things I found, working with six year olds, was that they generally did not have a well developed sense of shame. Therefore a hungry child would tell you, or act out in such a way that necessitated a quiet 'is something on your mind' chat, and then they'd tell you they hadn't had breakfast. Or dinner the night before. Or they had, but not nearly enough.

Many is the time I would mop up a tear or three, then hot foot it along to the canteen to beg a slice of bread and marg to keep them going until school dinners, with the inevitable big chunk of cakey stodge and custard to fill them up.

After that I worked with the ten year olds. By ten, they wouldnt tell you any more. Their pride and shame wouldnt allow it. That didnt make them any less hungry, of course. Didnt mean it wasnt happening.

And yes, there were those few children who were perpetually neglected. But I also realised that, quite often, there were families who had just fallen on difficult times. A benefit delay, a change of circumstance, a sick relative and bus fares to the hospital to pay for, a lack of work for a contractor... all these could lead to shortages. Those families were there at the end of school with a big smile and a wave, always there for parents evenings etc... these weren't feckless individuals, they were people struggling, people who needed help. A judgeypants attitude was missing the point.

People are losing their jobs all over the place. Every new job has hundreds of applicants. Universal credit, which wasnt fit for purpose beforehand, frankly, are drowning under the weight of new applications. They havent hassled me for months, too busy with new applicants! And delays are built into the system; I have already shared that Universal Credit left me with no money for ten weeks last year, that was three lots of rent etc to find. I used all my savings, sold some stuff and mum bought me essential shopping when I still fell short, but not everyone is that lucky. And I did not have a child at home by that stage.

Fast forward to now and a whole load of people are facing short term but severe shortages of money. Parents being useless is not the problem, parents struggling financially in the middle of a pandemic- induced recession with high unemployment and a failing benefit system is.

There are more hungry kids, now. Probably short term, but happening now. And for whatever reason, it's wrong. Even if it is a case of parental ineptitude, or neglect, is that a reason to turn a blind eye? No child deserves to go hungry because of the circumstances or failings of its parent.

Just feed the bloody children, Boris.  "

17 comments:

  1. Yes, it's a very sad situation. We have an excellent food bank here that provides excellent boxes to people who need it, no questions asked.

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  2. Yes!! definitely...NO child should anywhere should go hungry!!

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  3. What a sad,sad situation.Has Boris ever gone hungry !,,,,Never,never.........

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  4. It is a very sad situation. Something definitely needs to be done to rectify it.

    God bless.

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  5. My daughter's - a teacher - school district gives all students free breakfast and lunch that way no one feels ashamed of not having money to pay. But now that students are doing virtual learning I am sure that there are many who do not have enough to eat.... and there is no way to help.

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  6. I wrote to my MP who voted against extending free school meals; he had plenty to say about what he felt had been done but failed to comment on the Members heavily subsidised restaurant or their 3% pay increase. I think they have entirely misjudged the public mood over this...children should not be made victims in all of this chaos. Well said Beth - spoken from the heart

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  7. So very true, and very well said. The only argument that should be needed is 'these children didn't ask for anything that's happened to them or around them to create this situation. They're here, they exist, and they need to be fed. So feed them!' Boris and his band of monsters have seriously misjudged this as they misjudge everything, but nothing makes it clearer how low they are than this does

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  8. Well said Beth.
    Most people in government haven't a clue and
    so many people are struggling and I'm afraid it's going to get worse.

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  9. Brilliantly and beautifully put! I really don't care what a few "bad" parents have done, we're back to Spock in Star Trek "The needs of the Many outweigh the needs (or on this case deeds) of the few".

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  10. It is never the fault of a child. I am ashamed of our government's response, but, sadly, it is no more than I would expect of them.

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  11. Spot on Beth. It's never, ever the child's fault.

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  12. I cannot understand how any decent person can come to terms with standing back and allowing children to go hungry, yet we have somehow ended up with a government that is at ease with doing just that. It's appalling.

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  13. Excellent, Beth. The case is the same here in the US. The current administration (aka the orange idiot) is actually trying to reduce the (already pitiful) benefit for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for families even while unemployment numbers rise and millions of children cannot access school lunch programs due to virtual schooling. You know far too many are going hungry every day. Heartlessness on both sides of the Pond.

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  14. Beth did a great job expressing what is true for so many. As Mary has already stated, we have the same things happening here in the US. It's disheartening that this kind of thing still goes on in our world. I saw this happening with students many times when I taught. May times change for the better for all. Thank you for sharing this, Joy.

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  15. I love Beth! Well done for sharing, Joy. My eldest son has worked with children and families for 20 years and on his Facebook page he put a very simple flow chart. "Hungry child. Is it the parents fault? Yes ....feed the child. Hungry child. Is it the parents fault? No.....feed the child."
    How could we ever consider a different answer ?

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