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  • "One economic factor that seems to be ignored is the rise in automation in the workplace due to new technology. We are barely at the dawn of this era but already it is clear that we are working toward a much reduced workforce. We are no longer the most efficient or cost effective option. We are nowhere near the most productive. This will inevitably result in more unemployment. Our wages are reducing because there simply isn't the demand for workers. We are subsidising the wage bill for workers and even giving them to employers free of charge. The businesses don't want to contribute to the welfare of those they have no need of so it will be left to an ever decreasing number of taxpayers to help support an ever increasing number of unemployed. We can already see that the taxpayer is uncomfortable with this arrangement. Meanwhile the businesses who no longer require workers due to their more productive automated systems are seeing their profits go up, their wages bill fall resulting in much less revenue going to the Taxman through employee's income tax and the company themselves hides their money offshore to keep it out of the hand of aforementioned Mr Taxman. Is it time some of these mostly automated companies were nationalised so society as a whole feels the benefits of the technological advances that these now redundant workers have helped develop rather than it continue to be just a means for the wealthy business owners to increase their wealth? We can either let the machines set us free and give all a reasonable standard of living or we we can remain enslaved alongside them and increase the desperation for those who have become surplus to requirement."
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Soup kitchen set to open food bank in Bradford

HOPE: Founder and Board Member of Intouch Foundation food bank, Osman Gondal, with some of the donated food

HOPE: Founder and Board Member of Intouch Foundation food bank, Osman Gondal, with some of the donated food

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Chief Reporter

A soup kitchen is expanding to open a food bank with hopes of supporting families reluctant to ask for help.

The InTouch Foundation Food Bank will officially start later this month, but already the organisation has helped people referred to it.

InTouch Foundation founder Osman Gondal hopes that by collecting donations in mosques, South Asian families will be encouraged to speak out and request support.

“What we’ve found is that 90 per cent the people using food bank services across the Bradford area are, generally speaking from white local backgrounds.

“I know there’s a need within the South Asian community and that people from this community aren’t coming forward - we’re conducting research to find out what the cause is.

“We’re going to be working with the mosques and that will be a direct link with ourselves. People can talk to an iman and tell them why they are struggling. It’s taking the mosque back to what it was, which is a community hub.”

Mr Gondal said it was too early to say why South Asian families were less likely to come forward, but suggested it was perhaps cultural and a lack of knowledge about services on offer.

“People don’t know what’s on offer to them, they’d rather contact friends and family,” he said.

The food bank, which will be run entirely by women, has always been part of the plan for the InTouch Foundation which runs weekly soup kitchens in Bradford, Shipley and Keighley.

Mr Gondal said the food bank, which gives out food parcels to last between three and five days, was about more than handouts.

“It’s not just about the pack. It’s about what support we can give to people as well, whether that be healthy eating advice or financial planning - how you can stretch a pound to last a day rather than just going and getting a 99p chicken and chips.

“It’s a more holistic approach.”

People will be referred to the charity service through agencies such as job centres and Bradford Council. The service will be piloted in Bradford working with ten mosques and three schools, with plans of expanding later.

Mr Gondal said InTouch Foundation was a non-political organisation, but he felt welfare changes had led to more people struggling.

“There are some people that are really struggling and don’t know where their next meal will come from,” he said. Earlier this week the InTouch Foundation was contacted about a mother who had completely run out of money and had no idea how she was going to feed her children.

“Within hours we were able to provide her with an emergency food pack.”

Mr Osman said food would be collected weekly from mosques, schools and other centres and stored at Sharing Voices base in Clifton Villas, Bradford.

The organisation is appealing for help to buy pallet racking to store and pack the food for distribution.

Anyone who can help should contact Mr Gondal on 07865 994953.

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