please empty your brain below

I've just read a very interesting post from someone who has been volunteering in a foodbank. I'm not going to link as I don't think the blogger would appreciate the exposure. But, she has a very sound conclusion: people who take from others' generous donations should have to attend courses in budgeting, economical cookery and sound household management.

There is no point in just giving people handouts - all this does is encourage dependency and a culture of entitlement.

The real problem is that people don't have the skills to manage with what they have, or choose to spend their money on non-essentials (blame the consumerist world, or blame lack of self-discipline).

Give a person a fish and they will eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and they can feed themselves and their familes for life - and be able to pass on the skills to others.

Incidentally, I spend much less than £1 a day for each of us on food at this time of year. And the most productive of all my produce growing areas is the balcony. So, anyone can do it - it just takes some time and a lot of effort. Ah...
"But, she has a very sound conclusion: people who take from others' generous donations should have to attend courses in budgeting, economical cookery and sound household management."

Blue Witch you've just identified a fantastic reason why nobody should rely on such patronising charity. Don't give people food - give them the money they need to buy the food they want. If welfare benefits don't go far enough (or are too generous)that's not the fault of the claimants.
Whilst accepting that Richard, if people had the skills they needed to manage money, cook cheaply and save for upcoming bills, most of them wouldn't be there in the first place.

Forcing companies who make millions/billions in profit responsible for paying their employees a living wage would be a good start - then people wouldn't need top-up 'benefits'.

I've said many times before that I believe strongly that the highest earning person in a company should be paid no more than twenty times the lowest paid. That would go an awfully long way towards alleviating 'poverty' in this country (and poverty is relative as anyone who has travelled the world beyond touristville will tell you).

I'm not getting into the whole 'welfare benefits' debate.
These skills should be taught in school. My 2 older boys, who have just left school, had to take a compulsory financial literacy class at their American school which not only taught them how to budget, but how to invest in the stock market if they found themselves in a position to do so in the future. My 19 year old is now successfully living on his own in a privately rented apartment, on a minimum wage job, while saving for college. But rents are much cheaper where he is.
It's obscene the amount people spend on food, particularly in restaurants and fast food outlets.
Our household budget remained the same for ten years (no pay increases) until a return to the UK last year necessited a further 25% decrease in pay in order to have a job at all! I have found A Girl Called Jack's blog invaluable.
I'm mystified by the concept of 'I'm not going to link as I don't think the blogger would appreciate the exposure.'
I thought the whole point of posting one's views on the internet was to get exposure; otherwise, why do it?
Great post, and I know it isn't really about food, as such.
However, I can't help mentioning that a friend and I were passing a Jamie's restaurant a couple of nights ago, and saw about a food & music festival weekend coming up very soon, to be held at the Cotswolds farm that belongs to Alex James.
Advance-bookers can get a one day ticket for just £45 or a full weekend ticket (that's 2 days) for only £90!
I guess you'd get to see a whole lotta cooking going on, but presumably you'd have to pay more if you wanted to eat anything.
It's not hard to imagine it being a popular event: I, er... can't really imagine that too many people will be trying to save a bit of cash by taking along their own sandwiches :(
Sarah - if you want the link, email me and I'll happily give it to you. Some people choose to blog for reasons other than 'exposure'.
Google suggests something related to citrus confectionery?
uht milk?
more expensive, no?
(and that's ignoring the taste - yuck)
Roger - While I'm not sure if it is the festival's primary purpose, the website does say that a 'a proportion' (though it doesn't say what proportion) of the profits, plus 50p from each dish sold will go to the Jamie Oliver Foundation. One of their aims is to teach kids - and adults - how to grow and cook fresh food.
Sadly, it has to be UHT milk, as that which you donate to a food-bank has to have a long shelf life.

It doesn't cost much to buy an extra bag of pasta or tin of tomatoes each time you shop, and it can make all the difference. Yes, people ought to be able to budget for themselves - but the reality is, not everybody can. I wish they could. But we don't live in an ideal world, and food banks are, sadly, necessary. And if you are lucky enough not to have to use one - why not donate to one occasionally?
I like UHT treated milk.
Thanks BW but I was more interested in the concept of secret blogging. Bit risky, blogging if you don't want people to read it, isn't it?
"secret blogging" : isn't that what used to be known as 'keeping a diary' ?
Lots of people keep a blog that is just for their family or friends. Many early bloggers/blogs still exist, often password protected, for invited people only.

The 'nutter on the internet' is not always a nice (or easy) person to have to get rid of, and there is often a lot goes on behind the scenes of popular blogs that the normal reader isn't aware of.

Some bloggers, having had bad experiences, choose to be more circumspect once they have overcome their foe.
Foodbank users are more likely than most to be overwhelmed by multiple problems. A kindly volunteer is the best they can hope for when what they really need is an experienced long-term counsellor.
Thanks, Martin.
Having seen that this particular "Jamie's" was offering bottles of "Jamie's Tomato Ketchup" at over four bleedin' quid per bottle, I should ******* think he could afford to give the odd 50p to charity.
I must admit I hadn't even looked at the website before you mentioned it, but the crowd photo it shows from a previous event indicates that him and Alex look likely to be receiving one helluva lot of forty-five poundses.

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