Monday, 25 June 2012

Monstrosity and Class in Britain and the United States - Soup Kitchens then and now

 Two grotesque reports from today's Guardian newspaper:

Charles Dickens identified as author of mystery article

An article championing the rights of the working classes, published in one of the journals edited by Dickens for more than 20 years, has been attributed to the author himself.

Charles Dickens has been identified as the author of a previously unattributed article which attacks the middle classes for patronising the "working man".

"Who has not been outraged by observing that cheerfully patronising mode of dealing with poor people which is in vogue at our soup-kitchens and other depĂ´ts of alms?,"

runs the article, which was published anonymously on 18 April 1863 in the weekly magazine All the Year Round, under Charles Dickens's editorship.

"There is a particular manner of looking at the soup through a gold double eye-glass, or of tasting it, and saying, 'Monstrous good – monstrous good indeed; why, I should like to dine off it myself!' which is more than flesh and blood can bear."

Monday 25 June 2012 15.14 BST; read the full article here.

Jews - Spitalfields - London

Demand for food parcels explodes as welfare cuts and falling pay hit home

Early-warning indicator should set alarm bells ringing about poverty levels, government told.

Falling incomes and welfare spending cuts have triggered an explosion in demand for emergency food parcels as Britain's poorest families struggle to put a meal on the table, say charities.
FareShare, a charity that supplies millions of free meals to charities, food banks and breakfast clubs using food donated by supermarkets, said it could not keep pace with demand, which it expected to continue growing for at least five years.

Washington DC - Soup Kitchen - 1936
 "We are experiencing ridiculous growth. The only brake is how much food we can get out of the industry. We have the operational capacity to deliver more food and the charities that want to take that food," said Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare.

1 comment:

  1. Further Information

    Hunger affects more than thirty million people in the United States; many of these people need to locate a soup kitchen. Soup kitchens are located throughout the country in big cities as well as tiny communities. They supply meals to people that are homeless, poor or living at or below the poverty level.

    Some communities have mobile soup kitchens to serve the people in need.

    Many people are not aware of the magnitude of the problem. Soup kitchens always need volunteers to help in food preparation and serving.

    Soup kitchens and food pantries always need donations of food.

    Often a soup kitchen is located where there is also a food pantry.

    In the United States, one out of every ten households is living with hunger.

    More than 800 million people go hungry worldwide.


    1 Visit your local social service office for a listing of soup kitchens in your area.

    2 Check online at websites such as 4homeless for a list of soup kitchens and other resources in each state (see link in Resources).

    3 Talk to someone that works, or volunteers, at a food pantry to find out where the soup kitchens in your area are located.

    4 Go to a church, or other place of worship, to find out if they offer a soup kitchen. If they don't, they will tell you where local soup kitchens are located.

    5 Call your local government agency and tell them you need assistance in locating a soup kitchen in your area.

    Read more: How to Locate a Soup Kitchen |