BOSSES at a Spalding food bank have thrown down the gauntlet to former MP Edwina Currie to come face-to-face with the people it helps after she claimed no one in the UK was too poor to eat.
The former Conservative MP made the controversial comments on a BBC Radio 5 Live show last Monday.
She said: “I don’t believe people in this country go hungry.”
But Paul Walker, project manager at Spalding’s Agape Care Foodbank, criticised Ms Currie’s attitude, saying she has never had to live on an income where she has had to budget in order to make ends meet.
He said: “Unfortunately there are many people just like her in the South Holland area who see poverty only applying to people in the third world.
“She would do well to live the life of a family where the father is out of work because he simply cannot get the job another 100 men have gone for.”
Ms Currie’s claims came during a radio interview last week when a number of listeners rang in to the Stephen Nolan show saying they were forced to choose between turning the heating on or buying food.
Mr Walker says the Spalding bank has already witnessed a rise in the number of pleas for help, but is expecting an explosion as winter strikes and high energy bills start dropping through letterboxes.
The demand for help means the Agape Care Foodbank is currently finalising the details for a venue for a satellite station at Long Sutton.
He said: “Edwina, we lay the challenge to you to visit some of the families or single people that we support and at the end of that continue to have the narrow-minded view of people on benefits.
“We have seen hungry children wolf down food they get and mothers having to do without to feed their children.
“We have people coming to the food bank because all their money has been taken up on rent, council tax, healting, electricity and clothing.
“So we suggest Edwina should ponder over her uninformed words, accept she may be wrong and ask to see the evidence in a society brimming with support agencies, housing associations and the like, looking after the very people she says do not exist.”
l For more information about the food bank, go to www.agapecare.org.uk