Choosing between heating and eating: British demand for emergency food aid spikes
Theres plenty of time to argue the merits of what makes a food blog great, be it the amount of breaking news, quality of the recipes, layout, industry usefulness, or wide appeal, but for todays (and previous years) purposes, we took a very objective approach: we tracked down nearly 200 leading food blogs, using “best-of” lists from sites including Saveur and Babble, and then compiled four data points on each of them: the average number of monthly visitors for the past year (using Compete.coms data), and the number of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and Pinterest followers. To arrive at the final 25, we factored in the number of average unique visitors (this accounted for 50 percent of each blogs score) and the data from the three social media components (which accounted for the remaining 50 percent). The blogs with the highest total scores made the cut. While the list didnt change dramatically from last year, there were a few notable differences. The Kitchn made a leap from number six up to number two, and Picky Palate jumped from number 12 up to number five on our list. Skinnytaste , which ranked third last year, fell to number 10 this year, and David Lebovitz , whose star just keeps rising, jumped from number 11 up to number six. Simply Recipes held onto the top spot for the fourth year in a row. There were also several newcomers, while others fell off the list entirely. This year we welcome Bakers Royale , Chocolate & Zucchini , Elanas Pantry , Food52 , Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef , Simple Bites , and Thug Kitchen to our list, while we say goodbye to Annies Eats , Gluten-Free Goddess, Mommys Kitchen , Our Best Bites , Pinch My Salt, TasteSpotting , and A Year of Slow Cooking. Falling off our list in no way indicates a drop in quality; reasons vary from blog to blog. Some have slowed down the rate of posting entries; others have simply been surpassed by other blogs in traffic. The blogs on our list offer everything from recipes to breaking restaurant news to simple musings about life and food, but theyre all worthy of being on your radar if you love food. 1Simply Recipes Simply Recipes A virtual recipe box of founder Elise Bauers favorite homespun dishes, Simply Recipes features her tried-and-true recipes, along with those crafted by family and friends.
Demand for food aid spikes in Britain
Its not going away. Its getting worse. WORRIES AHEAD OF WINTER Mould said that increasing numbers of people in Britain are living on incomes that are insufficient to cover the rising costs of food, gas and electricity, fuel, transport and other basic necessities. Disposable incomes have fallen, when adjusted for inflation, since the global financial crisis erupted in 2007-2008. But the cost of necessities has risen gas and electricity costs are up 30 percent in real terms since 2007. The trust says many people this winter will choose between eating and heating. People at food banks have started giving back food items that need cooking because they cant afford to turn on the electricity, the trust said in a statement. The British Red Cross announced last week it would have 30,000 volunteers help in a massive food drive at the end of November. The Red Cross hasnt been involved in food distribution on a wide scale in Britain since World War II. IMPACT OF AUSTERITY The stress on the poor has increased since Britains coalition government, elected in 2010, imposed tough spending cuts and tax increases intended to reduce the budget deficit. That government has cut welfare payments, forced many low-income residents to pay local government tax for the first time, and imposed a new fee for public housing tenants with spare bedrooms. Treasury chief George Osborne has acknowledged that the austerity has proven to be hard on the country and that recovery is taking longer than anyone hoped. But the government insists the pain is a short-term necessity for the countrys long-term economic well-being and that there is no evidence that welfare reforms are causing people to go hungry. Among those struggling is Tim Day, 30, a graphic designer who is between jobs and visited one of the trusts distribution centers at the United Reformed Church in Bromley on Tuesday. Between temporary work contracts, Day was grateful for a three-day supply of food including orange juice, vegetables, and porridge. But hes always worried about making ends meet.
That government has cut welfare payments, forced many low-income residents to pay local government tax for the first time, and imposed a new fee for public housing tenants with spare bedrooms. Treasury chief George Osborne has acknowledged that the austerity has proven to be hard on the country and that recovery is taking “longer than anyone hoped.” But the government insists the pain is a short-term necessity for the country’s long-term economic well-being and that there is no evidence that welfare reforms are causing people to go hungry. Among those struggling is Tim Day, 30, a graphic designer who is between jobs and visited one of the trust’s distribution centers at the United Reformed Church in Bromley on Tuesday. Between temporary work contracts, Day was grateful for a three-day supply of food including orange juice, vegetables, and porridge. But he’s always worried about making ends meet. “It’s stressful,” he said, describing the constant ups and downs that come without the certainty of a full-time job. UPWARD TREND Food bank volunteers work at a food bank in Bromley, south London, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. A leading The numbers show a steady increase in the numbers of people needing help to eat. When the trust’s network started in 2000, it served 600 people at one site. By 2008, as the global financial crisis was erupting, that number had climbed to nearly 26,000 at 60 sites. The trust keeps opening new centers and now has about 400 that operate in conjunction with churches and charitable institutions. Britain’s government said in a statement that it isn’t surprising that numbers of users would increase as the number of food banks increase. But the trust says the increase is not linked to people learning about their services and signing up for free food. Recipients are referred by social service workers, and other professionals who issue vouchers meant to help people get through an emergency.