Search

Camden primary teachers bring food into classes to feed hungry pupils hit by benefit cuts

08:00 19 September 2013

Monika Caro outside the Royal Free Hospital, where a food bank donation point has been set up for needy families. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Monika Caro outside the Royal Free Hospital, where a food bank donation point has been set up for needy families. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Camden primary teachers are taking food into schools to feed hungry pupils and a “Comic Relief-style” food bank has been set up at the Royal Free Hospital, as the borough’s poorest go hungry due to government benefit cuts.

Hampstead resident Monika Caro, who has campaigned against the controversial benefit changes, said a number of Camden primary teachers are so concerned about hungry five to seven-year-olds in their classes that they take in their own food from home to feed them.

Ms Caro, vice-chair of Camden Association of Street Properties, said the desperate reality of life for some in Camden was reinforced by the discovery of a stall at the Royal Free Hospital asking the public to donate food to residents affected by the benefit cuts.

She said: “I thought, ‘Oh my god, if the Royal Free is now making a Comic Relief-style appeal for food then surely the government can hear that things are really desperate.’ I voted for the Conservatives and I wish I never had.

“It’s like living in Robin Hood times, they are taking from the poor to give to the rich.”

The volunteer and carer has worked alongside prominent Camden benefit cuts campaigner Petra Dando to make the plight of the borough’s most vulnerable public.

The total benefit cap was introduced in Camden last month and under the regulations no household can receive more than £500 per week in welfare payments.

The government also introduced changes in April, dubbed the ‘bedroom tax’, which penalise residents with spare rooms in council houses by cutting their benefits by between 14 and 25 per cent.

The bedroom tax is aimed at encouraging people with spare rooms to downsize to free up large homes.

But Highgate councillor Sally Gimson said residents have told her they are “skipping meals” in order to be able to settle the new bedroom tax charges.

Highgate Newtown Community Centre, in Bertram Street, Highgate, is to launch lunch clubs from October 4 offering people in need of food a cooked lunch for just £1.

Centre director Andrew Sanalitro said: “There will be a spike in problems when winter comes because of heating bills. It’s just becoming a lot harder for people to cope.”

Lawyer Rebekah Carrier, who is working on a number of High Court challenges to the benefit changes, was particularly critical of the total cap.

She said: “The people most badly affected by the benefit cap are families with three or more children. Often all of their benefits go on paying their rent and they have nothing with which to feed their children.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:35
Geography teacher Kato Harris wept as a jury cleared him of all charges

A Geography teacher has told of the “massive stress” of being accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old pupil in the classroom of his Camden school.

Yesterday, 17:45
Nearly 4,000 pupils were excluded for reasons including racist abuse and sexual misconduct across Camden, Haringey and Barnet. Picture: PA

Racist abuse, sexual misconduct and drug and alcohol offences – these are some of the reasons why nearly 4,000 Camden, Haringey and Barnet pupils were excluded from schools last year.

Yesterday, 17:37
Kato Harris, has been cleared of  three counts of rape

A geography teacher wept today after a jury took just 26 minutes to clear him of repeatedly raping a pupil in a classroom at a Camden school.

Yesterday, 15:45
Islington Square Show Apartment

Interior designers Amos and Amos have created a hyper local show home featuring only furniture and accessories they sourced from shops on Upper Street

Yesterday, 15:12
Restoration work begins in the theatre at Alexandra Palace. Photo: Polly Hancock

The Park and Palace Trust launch a one million pound fundraising campaign to support the theatre’s restoration.

Yesterday, 13:19
Omar Bartocci, 13,  has been found safe and well after going missing last Wednesday

A 13-year-old junior rugby player has been found “safe and well.” after going missing for five days.

Yesterday, 09:52
Golders Green station was evacuated after security alert  Pic credit: @im725555

Golders Green station was evacuated by police at around 7am this morning after a vehicle abandoned in the car park caused a security alert.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now