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Schoolgirls’ Plea To IDS After Foodbank Debate

December 20, 2013

Sisters Jade and Jasmine Clarke have written an open letter asking the smirking Work and Pensions Secretary to take poverty and hunger in Britain seriously

Iain Duncan Smith sparked outrage this week when he sneaked out of a vital Commons debate on the growing need for foodbanks to feed hungry families.

The Tory welfare chief left it to his junior minister Esther McVey to speak before both missed out on a series of impassioned and highly charged responses from MPs.

Labour’s Luciana Berger warned: “Figures this week show an increase in diseases such as scurvy and rickets.”

Her colleague Julie Hilling added: “It’s an absolute disgrace we have to have foodbanks in the sixth richest country in the world.”

Jade Clarke, 14, and sister Jasmine, 12, of Salisbury, Wilts, this month urged readers to back our Give Our Kids a Christmas appeal. Here, they write to IDS and call on him to act on food poverty…

Dear Mr Duncan Smith,

On Wednesday our family went to the House of Commons to listen to the debate on foodbanks.

We were disappointed you left early, because you missed MPs telling some really sad stories about people going hungry across the country.

We know what it’s like to not have enough food at Christmas – we’ve been there.

Even though Dad was working really hard, him and Mum weren’t eating dinner so there would be enough for us. Mum said we weren’t going to get any presents last Christmas Day – and that we’d have beans on toast for Christmas dinner.

All our friends at school were looking forward to Christmas but for us it would just be a normal day with hardly anything to eat. It was really upsetting. We felt like outsiders.

We were so lucky on Christmas Eve – a food box from The Trussell Trust turned up at our house. It saved our Christmas and meant that we could have a proper meal

Now things are getting a bit better. But we heard that 20,000 kids like us will need feeding this Christmas by The Trussell Trust – which has already given food to 500,000 people since April.

This year we’ve been volunteering at foodbanks, because we want to help people have a normal Christmas, too.

The past couple of weeks have been amazing. More than 140,000 people signed a petition in under a week. And the Mirror and Unite Christmas Appeal has raised over £75,000.

It’s nice to know ordinary people care. I’m sure you must care, too – and you must have heard about ­foodbanks in your area. Last Christ­­­mas was a really hard time for our family – and we don’t want to see other kids in the same place next year.

So we’re asking if you’ll make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to meet the Trussell Trust and its clients, to talk to them about food poverty and what can be done about it.

Happy Christmas, Jade and Jasmine

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2013 3:03 pm

    yetout of the mouths of children but wonders with ids wont listen its has if hes aint alive but trying to force these so calle creatures to give in not going to happening any day soon but I wish peoplewould wake up to the fact that this trussell trust is just another tory firm making monies from others misery yet they charge to set up a hall for giving out food and charge also for their name above the door yes tories making moneyfrom the poor jeff3

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