Yesterday in the House of Commons there was a debate under the headline of “Preventing Crime and Delivering Justice” and one of the Conservative MPs who took part is Lee Anderson who is the MP for Ashfield. During his comments this was his statement about foodbanks
Lee Anderson: As I was saying, the hon. Member for St Helens North made some great comments about food banks. My invitation is to every Opposition Member: come to Ashfield, work with me for a day in my local food bank and see the brilliant scheme we have in place. When people come for a food parcel now, they have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course. We show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget; we can make a meal for about 30p a day, and this is cooking from scratch.
Alex Cunningham (Shadow Minister for Justice): Can the hon. Gentleman answer a simple question for me: should it be necessary to have food banks in 21st century Britain?
Lee Anderson: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, as he makes a great point. Indeed, it is exactly my point, so I invite him personally to come to Ashfield to look at how our food bank works. He will see at first hand that there is not this massive use for food banks in this country. We have generation after generation who cannot cook properly—they cannot cook a meal from scratch—and they cannot budget. The challenge is there. I make that offer to anybody. Opposition Members are sitting there with glazed expressions on their faces, looking at me as though I have landed from a different planet. They should come to Ashfield, next week or the week after, and come to a real food bank that is making a real difference to people’s lives.
Perhaps we can persuade Lee Anderson to spend no more than 30p for a meal for the next six months and at the same time for him to spend time visiting other locations so that he can see how significant the food banks are across our Nation.