Stourport vicar lives on 'foodbank budget' for Lent season

Kidderminster Shuttle: SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: Rev Eva McIntyre is living on a foodbank budget of £33.37 a week for Lent. Picture: Miriam Balfry. 111436M. SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: Rev Eva McIntyre is living on a foodbank budget of £33.37 a week for Lent. Picture: Miriam Balfry. 111436M.

A WYRE Forest church leader is spending 40 days living on a “foodbank” budget and is blogging about her experience.

Rev Eva McIntyre, vicar of Stourport and Wilden, is living on £33.37 a week during Lent. Campaign group End Hunger Now says the average foodbank bag, containing three days of emergency food, contains £14.30 worth.

Ms McIntyre said she wanted to “show solidarity” with families who could not afford to put food on the table and hoped it would help her raise “some important questions”.

“I did my first shop on Saturday and bought some fruit and vegetables, which was under £8 and from the Co-op, one bag of groceries and quickly realised I only had £9 left for the rest of the week,” she said.

“It does some very interesting things. I am focussing very quickly on the immediate future, so suddenly what I eat from day to day becomes much more of a focus than before.”

She said it had made her think about which basic items, such as toilet roll, she was able to afford and said it was difficult to buy more expensive environmentally-friendly and Fairtrade items and products not tested on animals.

“There are some really big questions about how we have ended up with this in such a rich country,” she said. “You cannot just pop along to a foodbank and get a handout - you have to prove you are entitled to this. How degrading must that feel?

“I would think there are some basic questions about priorities that need to be raised. The fact it is OK to bring down the highest rate of tax for people earning huge amounts of money and then cut benefits seems to me completely upside down and that is basic Christianity - not political.”

Kidderminster Foodbank has fed more than 4,000 people, including more than 1,000 children, since opening in May, 2012.

Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier said the problem ran “far deeper” than just financial issues. “It is not about simply demonstrating living on a very tight budget for a month,” he added. “It is about the grinding depression people who are looking for work frequently feel - not knowing when they will ever get a job. People seeking work cannot simply opt to do it for a month.

“That is why we spend so much time in my office helping people with jobseekers allowance claims and why we are running jobs fairs to help people get off benefits and take control of their own life.”

The Shuttle’s Blackwell Street office is a collection point for the foodbank, which opens at Baxter Church in Kidderminster town centre on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12.30pm until 3.30pm and Fridays between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

Anyone needing help can call 07523 896280, 01562 746600 or email kiddyfb188@gmail.com.

To read Ms McIntyre’s blog, visit throevaseyes.blogspot.co.uk

Comments (17)

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2:59pm Thu 13 Mar 14

harryurz says...

quote: “........and said it was difficult to buy more expensive environmentally-frie
ndly and Fairtrade items and products not tested on animals.”

That statement sums up exactly how utterly divorced the chattering classes are from life’s realities.

Someone might like to explain to the Rev that those unfortunate enough to be struggling daily with limited household finances don’t have the luxury to consider for even a millisecond whether to splash out on chicken nuggets that died of natural causes or in ensuring their mineral water is biodegradable!

They can’t afford to, love.

I’m sure our resident socialists will give her 10 PC points for her right-on choice of shopping at the Co-op (they need all the money they can get at the moment after all) but she may be surprised to find the area’s discount stores are far more competitive on price.
I’m sure one of her unfortunate flock can give her directions.....I hear Aldi are doing a good 2-for-1 deal on sackcloth and ashes this week.
quote: “........and said it was difficult to buy more expensive environmentally-frie ndly and Fairtrade items and products not tested on animals.” That statement sums up exactly how utterly divorced the chattering classes are from life’s realities. Someone might like to explain to the Rev that those unfortunate enough to be struggling daily with limited household finances don’t have the luxury to consider for even a millisecond whether to splash out on chicken nuggets that died of natural causes or in ensuring their mineral water is biodegradable! They can’t afford to, love. I’m sure our resident socialists will give her 10 PC points for her right-on choice of shopping at the Co-op (they need all the money they can get at the moment after all) but she may be surprised to find the area’s discount stores are far more competitive on price. I’m sure one of her unfortunate flock can give her directions.....I hear Aldi are doing a good 2-for-1 deal on sackcloth and ashes this week. harryurz
  • Score: -11

7:03pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Jerome K says...

What a horribly cynical and unintelligent comment to someone whose heart is clearly in the right place.

"Someone might like to explain to the Rev that those unfortunate enough to be struggling daily with limited household finances don’t have the luxury to consider for even a millisecond whether to splash out on chicken nuggets that died of natural causes or in ensuring their mineral water is biodegradable!".....
..errrrr...that's obviously what she's saying!!!!!

If Eva is considered a member of the 'chattering classes' & they are supposed to be 'divorced from life's realities' why is she concerned with those at the bottom of the financial scale? Surely she wouldn't have given them a second thought or would be condemning them for, crime of crimes, having a flat screen TV & basically living the life of Reilly on a dole cheque as presumably someone divorced from life's realities would be.

Seriously wonder when our society went so horribly cynical or has it always been like that?
What a horribly cynical and unintelligent comment to someone whose heart is clearly in the right place. "Someone might like to explain to the Rev that those unfortunate enough to be struggling daily with limited household finances don’t have the luxury to consider for even a millisecond whether to splash out on chicken nuggets that died of natural causes or in ensuring their mineral water is biodegradable!"..... ..errrrr...that's obviously what she's saying!!!!! If Eva is considered a member of the 'chattering classes' & they are supposed to be 'divorced from life's realities' why is she concerned with those at the bottom of the financial scale? Surely she wouldn't have given them a second thought or would be condemning them for, crime of crimes, having a flat screen TV & basically living the life of Reilly on a dole cheque as presumably someone divorced from life's realities would be. Seriously wonder when our society went so horribly cynical or has it always been like that? Jerome K
  • Score: 15

9:51am Fri 14 Mar 14

walkerno5 says...

"Seriously wonder when our society went so horribly cynical or has it always been like that?"

It's always been like that to an extent. The great unifying events of last century were two world wars with huge numbers of deaths so it's not a price worth paying but they did seem to focus minds on our shared humanity. The lesson has been lost now though. Is there a way to rekindle that sense of community without disaster and death?
"Seriously wonder when our society went so horribly cynical or has it always been like that?" It's always been like that to an extent. The great unifying events of last century were two world wars with huge numbers of deaths so it's not a price worth paying but they did seem to focus minds on our shared humanity. The lesson has been lost now though. Is there a way to rekindle that sense of community without disaster and death? walkerno5
  • Score: 4

1:29pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Jerome K says...

True enough walkerno5 but are other societies as cynical as ours where someone clearly tries to do the right thing and just gets a torrent of abuse for their efforts? I'm not so sure. You can see the same thing on the Oborski article, a councillor does something stupid and ALL councillors just get a torrent of mindless abuse. I think that anyone who wants to do anything for society these days and isn't simply out for themselves is treated with suspicion and incomprehension. A sad state of affairs and I think most of us know when this attitude became ingrained in the British public ;-)
True enough walkerno5 but are other societies as cynical as ours where someone clearly tries to do the right thing and just gets a torrent of abuse for their efforts? I'm not so sure. You can see the same thing on the Oborski article, a councillor does something stupid and ALL councillors just get a torrent of mindless abuse. I think that anyone who wants to do anything for society these days and isn't simply out for themselves is treated with suspicion and incomprehension. A sad state of affairs and I think most of us know when this attitude became ingrained in the British public ;-) Jerome K
  • Score: 2

3:35pm Fri 14 Mar 14

walkerno5 says...

"I think that anyone who wants to do anything for society these days and isn't simply out for themselves is treated with suspicion and incomprehension"

We've become too used to finding out that those who appear to be doing things for society ARE simply out for themselves, or at least are all too happy to take the fringe benefits and opportunities so in their stride that it looks like that was the intention. It's dispiriting really, but I suspect it was ever thus and is simply more visible today.
"I think that anyone who wants to do anything for society these days and isn't simply out for themselves is treated with suspicion and incomprehension" We've become too used to finding out that those who appear to be doing things for society ARE simply out for themselves, or at least are all too happy to take the fringe benefits and opportunities so in their stride that it looks like that was the intention. It's dispiriting really, but I suspect it was ever thus and is simply more visible today. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Fri 14 Mar 14

GlenFiddick says...

Please don't take harryurz's comments as indicative as society's as a whole.
Please don't take harryurz's comments as indicative as society's as a whole. GlenFiddick
  • Score: 1

2:37pm Sat 15 Mar 14

FreddyBear says...

I'm guessing Harryurz is one of the chattering classes who doesn't realise that poor people have consciences and principles; presumably sees them as a load of morons! Oh hang on; comment about Labour Party there: simply one of Mark Garnier's stooges! It might have been a good idea to actually read her blog before commenting - you'd have seen evidence that she knows from personal experience what she's talking about. But that would have defeated the object of posting, wouldn't it?!
I'm guessing Harryurz is one of the chattering classes who doesn't realise that poor people have consciences and principles; presumably sees them as a load of morons! Oh hang on; comment about Labour Party there: simply one of Mark Garnier's stooges! It might have been a good idea to actually read her blog before commenting - you'd have seen evidence that she knows from personal experience what she's talking about. But that would have defeated the object of posting, wouldn't it?! FreddyBear
  • Score: 2

10:18am Sun 16 Mar 14

Jerome K says...

Just read Eva's excellent blog which answers some of my questions on 'cynicism' specifically related to Harryurz's post. Well worth reading

http://throevaseyes.
blogspot.co.uk/

I'm sure she wouldn't mind me copy & pasting a bit here:

"There is a deep seated human reaction lurking beneath those who feel the need to belittle or denounce what I am doing. It is a response arising from discomfort. This discomfort comes from guilt. Those of us who live privileged lives have to engage in a certain amount of self deception and intentional ignorance in order to avoid the pain and guilt caused by acknowledging the huge imbalance in the share of wealth and resources in our world (and I include myself here). When someone points out the injustice of the situation, the comfort we derive from practising avoidance is unsettled and we come out fighting with justifications, attacks...anything that will help us re-establish the status quo as quickly as possible. The emotion I would ascribe to this reaction is Fear. 100% human, and one of the most frequent drivers of human beings."

In short it's about fear.
Just read Eva's excellent blog which answers some of my questions on 'cynicism' specifically related to Harryurz's post. Well worth reading http://throevaseyes. blogspot.co.uk/ I'm sure she wouldn't mind me copy & pasting a bit here: "There is a deep seated human reaction lurking beneath those who feel the need to belittle or denounce what I am doing. It is a response arising from discomfort. This discomfort comes from guilt. Those of us who live privileged lives have to engage in a certain amount of self deception and intentional ignorance in order to avoid the pain and guilt caused by acknowledging the huge imbalance in the share of wealth and resources in our world (and I include myself here). When someone points out the injustice of the situation, the comfort we derive from practising avoidance is unsettled and we come out fighting with justifications, attacks...anything that will help us re-establish the status quo as quickly as possible. The emotion I would ascribe to this reaction is Fear. 100% human, and one of the most frequent drivers of human beings." In short it's about fear. Jerome K
  • Score: 1

5:22pm Sun 16 Mar 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

Thanks for link. JK.
Some may find this of help
http://www.chalmers.
org/when-helping-hur
ts
Identifying the poverty of
- authority
- self-identity
- family links
- community links
That construct institutional poverty. Some becoming evident in the poverty of debate.
Thanks for link. JK. Some may find this of help http://www.chalmers. org/when-helping-hur ts Identifying the poverty of - authority - self-identity - family links - community links That construct institutional poverty. Some becoming evident in the poverty of debate. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 1

4:06pm Mon 17 Mar 14

harryurz says...

Well that got the discussion going didn’t it?
Very little of it had anything to do with the point I was making but never mind, that’s par for the course in the rush to defend our social -and socialist- champions. That’s the strength of social media I guess.....

Good to see my missive has also inspired what could surely pass as next week’s sermon too! (See, even I have my uses.)

Yes, you can certainly call me cynical. But is it any wonder such cynicism bubbles to the surface at these rather hypocritical half-hearted attempts at pricking the collective social conscience, particularly when its by a local representative of a religious organisation that generates a income of 1.2 billion a year, £178 million of which is via returns on an investment portfolio of £5.2 billion.
(Gosh, bankers and Hedge funds are actually okay then Archbishop?)

Perhaps she’d like to find out for us how much of that church income goes into provision of said foodbanks? And just how much of the 200,000 acres of UK land the Church owns is being sold off to help the needy?

Just bung it on the blog reverend, we’ll all see it.

Surely it’s far better to spend your time and effort lobbying your higher-up God-jockeys in the Church for more money than to scramble around the Co-Op clutching a sweaty 50p for the last fair-trade banana?

Might see you in Aldi sometime Eva, probably by the bottled water...... but somehow I doubt it.
Well that got the discussion going didn’t it? Very little of it had anything to do with the point I was making but never mind, that’s par for the course in the rush to defend our social -and socialist- champions. That’s the strength of social media I guess..... Good to see my missive has also inspired what could surely pass as next week’s sermon too! (See, even I have my uses.) Yes, you can certainly call me cynical. But is it any wonder such cynicism bubbles to the surface at these rather hypocritical half-hearted attempts at pricking the collective social conscience, particularly when its by a local representative of a religious organisation that generates a income of 1.2 billion a year, £178 million of which is via returns on an investment portfolio of £5.2 billion. (Gosh, bankers and Hedge funds are actually okay then Archbishop?) Perhaps she’d like to find out for us how much of that church income goes into provision of said foodbanks? And just how much of the 200,000 acres of UK land the Church owns is being sold off to help the needy? Just bung it on the blog reverend, we’ll all see it. Surely it’s far better to spend your time and effort lobbying your higher-up God-jockeys in the Church for more money than to scramble around the Co-Op clutching a sweaty 50p for the last fair-trade banana? Might see you in Aldi sometime Eva, probably by the bottled water...... but somehow I doubt it. harryurz
  • Score: -1

4:19pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Jerome K says...

Lol. When in a hole it's best to stop digging Harryurz. As the Reverend says, it's all about Fear.
Lol. When in a hole it's best to stop digging Harryurz. As the Reverend says, it's all about Fear. Jerome K
  • Score: -1

7:54pm Mon 17 Mar 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

For further context
http://www.theweek.c
o.uk/uk-news/57746/u
ks-five-richest-fami
lies-worth-more-poor
est-20
For further context http://www.theweek.c o.uk/uk-news/57746/u ks-five-richest-fami lies-worth-more-poor est-20 DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 1

2:57pm Wed 19 Mar 14

harryurz says...

Jerome K wrote:
Lol. When in a hole it's best to stop digging Harryurz. As the Reverend says, it's all about Fear.
is that what it was about?
I confess I read it three times but inpenetrable theological drivel is not my forte. ;-)
As for digging a hole, you miss the point.......
The longer I keep you socialists rabbiting on here the less time you've got to come up with more ways of ruining the country.
[quote][p][bold]Jerome K[/bold] wrote: Lol. When in a hole it's best to stop digging Harryurz. As the Reverend says, it's all about Fear.[/p][/quote]is that what it was about? I confess I read it three times but inpenetrable theological drivel is not my forte. ;-) As for digging a hole, you miss the point....... The longer I keep you socialists rabbiting on here the less time you've got to come up with more ways of ruining the country. harryurz
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Jerome K says...

Can't believe you read it three times & didn't get it, I even copy & pasted it so that's four. You appear to be dimmer than the average so I'll repeat the killer line for you

" The emotion I would ascribe to this reaction is Fear. 100% human, and one of the most frequent drivers of human beings"

"The longer I keep you socialists rabbiting on here the less time you've got to come up with more ways of ruining the country"

I'd also add 'mad' to your analysis, sadly I, and I presume the rest of the people you quaintly call 'socialists', don't have a hand in running the country even if it were run by socialists. I'm sorry to break it to you but its being run by your own party, The Conservative Party. It happened in 2010.
Now if you'll excuse me I really do think you should stop digging that hole, you'll be in Australia if you dig any deeper lol.
Can't believe you read it three times & didn't get it, I even copy & pasted it so that's four. You appear to be dimmer than the average so I'll repeat the killer line for you " The emotion I would ascribe to this reaction is Fear. 100% human, and one of the most frequent drivers of human beings" "The longer I keep you socialists rabbiting on here the less time you've got to come up with more ways of ruining the country" I'd also add 'mad' to your analysis, sadly I, and I presume the rest of the people you quaintly call 'socialists', don't have a hand in running the country even if it were run by socialists. I'm sorry to break it to you but its being run by your own party, The Conservative Party. It happened in 2010. Now if you'll excuse me I really do think you should stop digging that hole, you'll be in Australia if you dig any deeper lol. Jerome K
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Wed 19 Mar 14

sonofbaldwin says...

Im' confused as to how the £33.37 a week is arrived at -
Where is this figure from?
and is the challenge to buy food with this or is this to wholly live on?
Is it for a Family or a single person?
As usual with a these Shuttle articles specifics are sparse..
Im' confused as to how the £33.37 a week is arrived at - Where is this figure from? and is the challenge to buy food with this or is this to wholly live on? Is it for a Family or a single person? As usual with a these Shuttle articles specifics are sparse.. sonofbaldwin
  • Score: -1

11:23pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Jerome K says...

Is this your Micheal Green persona, Harryurz? lol
Is this your Micheal Green persona, Harryurz? lol Jerome K
  • Score: 2

8:39pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Barefoot and different says...

Perhaps our very own MP should try living on 33.37 a week it just may install a little bit reality, humility and humanity into the man instead of the spite and venom and contempt he usually displays for those at bottom of the pile. But now, that would be a miracle that even Jesus Christ might find difficult to perform!
Perhaps our very own MP should try living on 33.37 a week it just may install a little bit reality, humility and humanity into the man instead of the spite and venom and contempt he usually displays for those at bottom of the pile. But now, that would be a miracle that even Jesus Christ might find difficult to perform! Barefoot and different
  • Score: 1

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