For the first time since the end of the Second World War, the Red Cross willset up a food aid programme for the British population. The international humanitarian organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, aims to respond to the increase in the number of British citizens queuing at the charitable associations that distribute foodstuffs to families. Data show that in May 2013, over 500,000 households used “food banks”, charitable entities that help the poorest, whose numbers have increased due to unemployment, the reduction in welfare benefits and immigration.
According to some estimates, over 43 million Europeans do not have enough to eat every day, while 120 million individuals are at risk of poverty. The Red Cross initiative has led to criticism of David Cameron’s government and its welfare policies: Labour opposition and NGOs point the finger at indiscriminate cuts in social spending, which are said to have started this silent crisis. The arrival of winter raises fears that many citizens will not be able to stay warm, another step towards further deterioration in British living standards.