$20 Dollars In The Bank Better Than A Foodbank
Alliance Social Services Spokesperson Liz Gordon will lend a hand at the Christchurch City Mission Foodbank this Friday in support of Volunteer Awareness Week.
Dr Gordon says while she wholeheartedly supports the Christchurch City Mission, she would rather foodbanks didn't have to be part of their community work.
"It's a sad indictment on our society that foodbanks have become such a regular feature in the lives of low income New Zealanders," she says.
"Quite simply, the need for foodbanks is created by inadequate benefit levels and pitiful wages."
She is calling for a increase in benefits by $20 dollars a week in order to ease the burden on low-income families.
"If benefits were raised by $20 dollars a week, there is a good chance that many foodbanks could close next year" said Dr Gordon.
"The punitive attitude of the last government was simply short sighted. If beneficiaries are constantly looking for the source of the next meal, they cannot be expected to fully participate in their own communities, let alone look for a job.
"If New Zealand wants to get rid of foodbanks, benefits have to be raised and it has to be made easier for people who can work to earn an income before their pay is affected by benefit abatement."
The Alliance is negotiating within the coalition government on measures to reduce poverty.