I’m proud to be on the side of the poor

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One of the things I never thought I would be doing in this day and age would be collecting money for the hungry who live in South Tyneside.

But that is exactly what I will be doing next week when I take part in a fundraising bag pack event at B&M Bargains store in Jarrow in support of local food banks.

Organised by hard-working volunteers from our local charities South Tyneside Key Project and Churches Together, we will be highlighting the plight of almost 2,000 people in the borough who are now turning to food banks out of desperation.

Users have doubled in the past year because we have millionaire Tory ministers, aided by the Lib Dems, who are placing the biggest squeeze on people’s incomes since Victorian times.

While continuing to tell us that Britain is recovering from the bankers’ recession, they bury their head in the sand as people literally go hungry.

With household bills going through the roof as incomes for most people are cut – families in this borough are finding themselves nearly £2,000 a year worse off.

Being hungry in this day and age in one of the richest countries in the world is not the future we want.

What we need is money in working-class people’s pockets, who actually spend their cash in the local economy, creating more wealth.

The Queen’s Speech gave us no hope – just more of the same to benefit the bankers and mega rich who have made billions out of this Tory government.

I take my hat off to the tremendous work of our local organisations, who refuse to turn the other way.

Life is about taking sides, and I will be proud to be on the side of the poor next week when I join our local churches and charities at B&M Bargains.