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DWP Bans Jobcentres Referring Claimants To Foodbanks

February 7, 2019

From the Lewes Eye.

The DWP has banned local job centre staff from referring people to foodbanks for emergency food supplies.

Benefit claimants can often be left destitute because their money is not due to be paid for another month, or because their claim has not yet been decided or for other reasons, so a referral can often be vital if people are to keep body and soul together.

Now they will not be referred.  Instead they will be told to go to the Citizens Advice Bureau or similar agencies that may be able to refer them.  This means further delay and some difficult journeys for people in outlying parts of the district.


No one has told the foodbanks.  Lewes foodbanks only found out this week when one bank asked users to get new referral letters to check that they still qualified.  When the Lewes Eye phoned the SCD(2) which runs the Newhaven food bank today they had not heard about the new policy.

Nor does anyone appear to have told the Citizen’s Advice bureaux,  , or any of the other bodies that will have to take up the slack

However the DWP did email Lewes District Council’s tenant participation team to confirm what they were doing at the end of January.  The email is reproduced below.



Food banks in Lewes town do not normally give out food to people without a referral to stop fraud.

Referrals to from the job centre have been important to foodbanks because they know that the DWP knows all about the financial situation of claimants and will not make referrals for people who do not need the service.  Other bodies don’t have access to that information so it is hard for them to know whether to make a referral or not.

It is no good jobcentres just telling people about a food bank, as the DWP suggests it can do, because this does not provide any evidence that they are in need.

Hungry people will have to try to get referrals from an advice centre, a social worker, a teacher, a housing worker or similar and need to work out who they will ask before they are in an emergency


The DWP is doing this because the government is frightened that campaigners will be able to show that benefit cuts and the new Universal Credit are driving people into destitution. Last August the DWP told job centre staff not to record the referrals they made.  Now they are going even further to stop the obvious link being made

Never mind that it will be harder for people to get emergency food and for food banks to ensure that the food gets to those who need it most, the DWP is off the hook.


The Eye has asked other foodbanks what their experience is.  Already Eastbourne foodbank has said that referrals have stopped. See below.  The Eye will post further confirmations when they arrive.






Same Difference wishes we had words to add, but there are none.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2019 11:26 am

    Lewes CAB –

    “Lewes District Citizens Advice is an ***independent*** charity providing free, confidential and ***impartial*** advice to anyone living or working within the Lewes District area”

    Registered Charity Number – 1068146

    Financial year end
    31 Mar 2018 –

    Click to access 0001068146_AC_20180331_E_C.pdf

    No details of exactly where they get their bribes.. er.. ‘Donations’ but –

    Page 1 –
    “In addition to the substantial financial support from the District (East Sussex) Council the Service receives grants from the Town Councils.”

    Page 2 –
    “the opening of a new office in Newhaven in newly renovated building courtesy of Lewes District Council”
    “the move of our Lewes operation from The Barn, to shared premises with Lewes District Council in Southover House”

    Page 3 –
    Cllr Roger Murray Lewes Town Council
    Cllr Lindsay Freeman Seaford Town Council
    Cllr Anthony Bradbury Newhaven Town Council
    Cllr Brian Gosling Peacehaven Town Council
    Cllr Brian Page Telscombe Cliffs Town Council”

    Lewes District Citizens Advice – “independent” “impartial”
    Yeah. Right.

    The Bribery Act 2010 –

    Abuse of Vulnerable Adults –

    Click to access No_secrets__guidance_on_developing_and_implementing_multi-agency_policies_and_procedures_to_protect_vulnerable_adults_from_abuse.pdf

    Fraud Act 2006 –

    Conspiracy to Defraud –

    Perverting The Course of Justice –

    Misconduct in Public Office –

    Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care worker offence –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care provider offence –

    Care Act 2014 –
    Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect –

    Serious Crime Act 2007 – Encouraging or Assisting Crime –

    Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 –

    Criminal Attempts Act 1981 –


    Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter –

    Criminal Justice Act 1988 – Torture (Starvation)

    UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Articles

    UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

  2. February 7, 2019 12:32 pm

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

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