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  • Rob: Hello, I'm Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English.

  • With me today is Finn. Hello, Finn.

  • Finn: Hi Rob!

  • Rob: In this programme we're going to be talking about food banks in the UK.

  • Finn: Yes, food banks. But what exactly are they?

  • Rob: Well, you can find them all over the country nowadays.

  • They're part of a system where people who are struggling financially are given free

  • food to cook or eat which other people have donated or given for free.

  • Finn: We mean that people in modern-day Britain are so hard-up

  • that means they've got so little money

  • that they can't afford to buy their own food?

  • It does seem extraordinary, doesn't it?

  • Rob: Yeah, it does.

  • Well, today's question is about the people who use the food banks.

  • So Finn, do you know how many British people are estimated to have used them?

  • Is it ... a) 15,000?

  • b) 240,000? or c) 500,000?

  • Finn: I'll say 240,000, Rob.

  • Rob: Well, we'll see if you're right at the end of the programme.

  • Let's talk now about why food banks have opened up in the UK.

  • Finn: Yes, well, I suppose one place to start is the financial crisis of 2008

  • which made a lot of people redundant

  • that means they were asked to leave their jobs by their companies

  • so they became unemployed.

  • Rob: Then there were the cuts to the welfare system in 2013 which added to the problem.

  • Finn: Rising food prices themselves are another reason.

  • And heating bills in the winter can be expensive.

  • People fall into debt. You know, lots of things.

  • Rob: And remember that it's not just unemployment, Finn,

  • but underemployment, too.

  • There are some people on what is called zero-hours contracts

  • and doing part-time work

  • and they don't earn enough money to buy some of the essential things in life.

  • Finn: So there really are a lot of different factors, aren't there.

  • Rob: Well, let's listen to Steph Hagen as she explains how her food bank in Nottingham works.

  • She uses an expression that means 'unlimited access'.

  • Steph Hagen: People do not go to a food bank because it's an open door, it's an open shop.

  • It's a case of they go to it because they need to.

  • And also with our food bank

  • we are an independent one, and we have limited stocks

  • so everybody who comes through our door has no income whatsoever.

  • Finn: She said "open door". This means unlimited access.

  • Rob: And she said she had "limited stocks".

  • This means 'a shortage of goods'

  • there's not enough food for everybody.

  • Finn: But Rob, surely this food bank system is open to abuse as well?

  • What's to stop anyone just turning up and asking for food?

  • Rob: Well, there are checks in place and there's a system of referrals.

  • If a doctor or a social worker thinks someone needs to use a food bank

  • even for a short timethey can give them vouchers.

  • Then they take the vouchers along to the food bank

  • and they get handouts for three days.

  • Finn: Right. So, I see. I've heard that everything in food banks is donated

  • that means it's given for free.

  • And churches and individual donors are the people who provide most of it.

  • Rob: Well, apparently, these food banks are a great

  • meeting place for people who are lonely and depressed.

  • The food bank volunteers then talk to the people who use them.

  • Finn: Some of these food banks also run courses

  • about how to cook well on a low budget.

  • So it's really not just handouts that these people get.

  • It's information as well.

  • Rob: But because these people are poor

  • they often can't afford to use gas or electricity for cooking.

  • So the food banks make sure they also provide food which can be eaten cold.

  • Finn: That's right. And I think it would be wrong

  • to assume that the users are just scroungers

  • now that means people who want something for nothing

  • because there's a loss of dignity

  • and even shame attached to using these services and people would of course prefer not to have to do it.

  • So, what food do they give out, Rob?

  • Rob: Well, let's listen to Steph again and see what she says.

  • She uses an expression to describe canned food that only needs to be heated.

  • Steph Hagen: Basically, we've got porridge.

  • We do occasionally get fresh produce but it's very rare, especially in the winter months.

  • It's a case of, it's like, tinned fruit, tinned ready meals.

  • What also goes into the mix,

  • people don't realise we have to give out 'no-cooking' food parcels

  • because people can't afford the gas and electric...

  • Finn: She said "tinned ready meals".

  • This is canned food that only needs to be heated.

  • Rob: And she said "goes into the mix".

  • This means it's 'part of the overall package'.

  • She also made the point about the importance of giving out 'no-cooking' food parcels

  • because some people don't have the electricity or the gas to cook the food.

  • OK, Finn. So, would you like the answer to the quiz question now?

  • Finn: Yes, please, yes.

  • You asked me how many British people are estimated to have used food banks.

  • Was it: 15,000, 240,000 or 500,000?

  • And I guessed 240,000.

  • Rob: Well, sorry, Finn. I'm afraid the answer is actually 500,000.

  • And some experts say that there are 13 million people living below the

  • poverty line in the UK right now.

  • Finn: It really does show how food banks

  • even in a country like oursare really needed.

  • It does make you think, doesn't it?

  • Rob: It does. Well, we're almost out of time now.

  • So, let's remind ourselves of some of the words we've said today, Finn.

  • Finn: OK.

  • make people redundant

  • zero-hours contracts

  • open door

  • referrals

  • handouts

  • limited stocks

  • scroungers

  • dignity

  • ready meals

  • goes into the mix

  • Rob: Thank you. Well, that's it for today.

  • Please visit bbclearningenglish.com to find more 6 Minute English programmes.

  • Until next time. Goodbye!

  • Finn: Bye!

Rob: Hello, I'm Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English.

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A2 初級

BBC 6 Minute English June 25, 2015 - Food Bank

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    Adam Huang   に公開 2015 年 06 月 27 日
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