Newbury is a relatively wealthy town - have a look at the house prices which aren't far short of what you'd pay in London.
MrM and I were hoping to buy a modest 3-bedroom house in a decent (not posh) part of town - somewhere where we'd feel safe but something with two double bedrooms and a small third room would cost about £350,000. The more you look at houses, the less this figure actually means, but to us it sounds like a huge sum. After looking at a few houses, we have decided that we cannot keep up the charade and expense of home-ownership - it's unsustainable.
The point is that other people WILL pay these prices for a normal-sized home, so Newbury is clearly not a poor town. Yet, the charity for Thursday's coffee morning was the new Food Bank. It was meant to be, but they didn't show - probably quite busy getting ready for their launch.
It seems quite frightening to me that in this day and age, and in a developed country that we need a food bank.
In fact, to afford our ridiculous mortgage on our tiny house (I'm talking not too far short of a grand a month), I used to work two jobs. I'd do my writing job from 8 until 5.30 and then go to a second job at Waitrose from 6pm to 11pm where the latter hour of my job would be to throw away all of the food that had exceeded its best before date and not been sold. Most of it was pristine and in fact I then spent most of my second job earnings on buying this food because I could not stomach throwing it away. We started to live on the food that was destined for the bin, not needing to do any more shopping.
It used to make me cry. Why was I throwing away perfectly fine veg (who decides the date on veg and how does it know to go 'off' at midnight on the date chosen?) when people were starving?
So I have mixed feelings about the Food Bank, but it's launching this month and is funded by Findmeagrant.org