More than half a million people attended food banks between April and September 2016. A couple of days ago, I went to the local food bank, where I met Steve. Currently living on top of a bed shop in a 1 bedroom apartment, Steve has fallen back on last month’s rent and is being threatened with eviction if he is unable to come up with a payment. “If I am unable to provide for my family, I will be separated from my kids forcefully.”  The question now is what has made us believe poverty is not a problem in Great Britain? When people who live in poverty struggle to afford food, it shows us how big of a problem poverty is in the U.K. and we have people like Steve one step closer from severe depression.

“Some days we had nothing to eat” , These were the words that my good friend once said to me. When we were young he experienced severe poverty. He told me how some days they only had one slice of bread to share between a family of four. There was one time he explained to me how his parents would not eat for two days straight to be able to feed him and his sister. He was unable to go out with us on the weekends. Over 1/4 of children are living in poverty and 65% of these children have a parent who works. This has become a major problem in our society which needs to be resolved. My friend was one of them.

My friend isn’t the only one. Many others have suffered. Poverty has increased by 30%. It is estimated that over 170,000 Londoners are homeless, 30,512 of these are children. Many people ignore the fact that, homeless people exist. But they are all humans; they just need a little help from us who are already stable. Now how is it possible we believe the U.K is so perfect with these outrageous statistics.

Another reason poverty is a problem in the UK is about how benefits are being handled. Recently a mother of four had her benefits cut simply because she was 1 minute late to her appointment due to a car crash. She had to attend a foodbank to get food to feed her children. It is estimated 27.45% of people go to food banks because of benefit delays.

Last week I interviewed a man who had been in this situation where he didn’t receive benefits. Neil, a man of many talents recently suffered a stroke. The former mechanics world came to a halt as he is unable to use his hands. This lead to him being deemed ‘not fit for work’ by his doctor. With no other choice Neil was forced to apply for benefits. A week later Neil was brought to a local examination center where he was put to various tests, to determine whether he was entitled to benefits. “I felt cruel seeing this man do these tests when he is clearly unable to hold a cup of coffee” This was the fine words of the doctor after she called off the test. Despite this happening Neil still hasn’t been granted with benefits.

These people I have mentioned are being neglected daily. They are on the verge of starvation. They are left with no option but to beg for our help . The politicians don’t mention them in the House of Commons. The media try their best to disclose the fact that people live in this state, and the government is not doing anything to help these people. There are no excuses. We are left to wonder what is so ‘great’ about Great Britain.

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