BBC 6 Minute English | FOOD BANKS | English CC | Daily Listening

source: Daily Listening    2016年9月20日

0:07 In this programme we're going to be talking about food banks in the UK.
0:10 Yes, food banks.
0:12 But what exactly are they?
0:14 Well, you can find them all over the country nowadays.
0:17 They're part of a system where people who are struggling financially are given free
0:21 food to cook or eat which other people have donated – or given for free.
0:26 We mean that people in modern-day Britain are so hard-up – that means they've got
0:31 so little money – that they can't afford to buy their own food?
0:35 It does seem extraordinary, doesn't it?
0:37 Yeah, it does.
0:38 Well, today's question is about the people who use the food banks.
0:41 So Finn, do you know how many British people are estimated to have used them?
0:47 Is it… a) 15,000?
0:49 b) 240,000? or c) 500,000?
0:53 I'll say 240,000, Rob.
0:56 Well, we'll see if you're right at the end of the programme.
0:59 Let's talk now about why food banks have opened up in the UK.
1:03 Yes, well, I suppose one place to start is the financial crisis of 2008 which made a
1:09 lot of people redundant – that means they were asked to leave their jobs by their companies
1:15 – so they became unemployed.
1:18 Then there were the cuts to the welfare system in 2013 which added to the problem.
1:22 Rising food prices themselves are another reason.
1:26 And heating bills in the winter can be expensive.
1:30 People fall into debt.
1:31 You know, lots of things.
1:33 And remember that it's not just unemployment, Finn, but underemployment, too.
1:37 There are some people on what is called zero-hours contracts and doing part-time work and they
1:43 don't earn enough money to buy some of the essential things in life.
1:47 So there really are a lot of different factors, aren't there.
1:50 Well, let's listen to Steph Hagen as she explains how her food bank in Nottingham works.
1:56 She uses an expression that means 'unlimited access'.
1:59 People do not go to a food bank because it's an open door, it's an open shop.
2:05 It's a case of they go to it because they need to.
2:08 And also with our food bank – we are an independent one, and we have limited stocks
2:13 – so everybody who comes through our door has no income whatsoever.
2:17 She said "open door".
2:19 This means unlimited access.
2:22 And she said she had "limited stocks".
2:24 This means 'a shortage of goods' – there's not enough food for everybody.
2:29 But Rob, surely this food bank system is open to abuse as well?
2:34 What's to stop anyone just turning up and asking for food?
2:38 Well, there are checks in place and there's a system of referrals.
2:42 If a doctor or a social worker thinks someone needs to use a food bank – even for a short
2:46 time – they can give them vouchers.
2:49 Then they take the vouchers along to the food bank and they gethandouts for three days.
2:54 Right.
2:55 So, I see.
2:56 I've heard that everything in food banks is donated – that means it's given for free.
3:01 And churches and individual donors are the people who provide most of it.
3:07 Well, apparently, these food banks are a great meeting place for people who are lonely and
3:12 depressed.
3:13 The food bank volunteers then talk to the people who use them.
3:18 Some of these food banks also run courses about how to cook well on a low budget.
3:23 So it's really not just handouts that these people get.
3:26 It's information as well.
3:28 But because these people are poor they often can't afford to use gas or electricity for
3:33 cooking.
3:34 So the food banks make sure they also provide food which can be eaten cold.
3:38 That's right.
3:39 And I think it would be wrong to assume that the users are just scroungers – now that
3:45 means people who want something for nothing – because there's a loss ofdignity and even
3:51 shame attached to using these services and people would of course prefer not to have
3:56 to do it.
3:57 So, what food do they give out, Rob?
3:59 Well, let's listen to Steph again and see what she says.
4:03 She uses an expression to describe canned food that only needs to be heated.
4:07 Basically, we've got porridge.
4:10 We do occasionally get fresh produce but it's very rare, especially in the winter months.
4:16 It's a case of, it's like, tinned fruit, tinned ready meals.
4:19 What also goes into the mix, people don't realise we have to give out 'no-cooking' food
4:24 parcels because people can't afford the gas and electric...
4:28 She said "tinned ready meals".
4:31 This is canned food that only needs to be heated.
4:34 And she said "goes into the mix".
4:37 This means it's 'part of the overall package'.
4:40 She also made the point about the importance of giving out 'no-cooking' food parcels because
4:45 some people don't have the electricity or the gas to cook the food.
4:49 OK, Finn.
4:50 So, would you like the answer to the quiz question now?
4:53 Yes, please, yes.
4:54 You asked me how many British people are estimated to have used food banks.
4:59 Was it: 15,000, 240,000 or 500,000?
5:04 And I guessed 240,000.
5:06 Well, sorry, Finn.
5:08 I'm afraid the answer is actually 500,000.
5:14 And some experts say that there are 13 million people living below the poverty line in the
5:19 UK right now.
5:20 It really does show how food banks – even in a country like ours – are really needed.
5:25 It does make you think, doesn't it?
5:27 It does.
5:28 Well, we're almost out of time now.
5:30 So, let's remind ourselves of some of the words we've said today, Finn.
5:34 OK.
5:35 make people redundant zero-hours contracts
5:39 open door referrals
5:41 handouts limited stocks
5:44 scroungers dignity
5:47 ready meals goes into the mix