Ghoul Penny Mordaunt renames foodbanks thinking it’ll fool people

Foodbanks and Penny Mordaunt
Support us and go ad-free

Tory MP, failed leadership candidate, and current leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt has caused uproar on social media. She tweeted a video of herself promoting a new initiative in her constituency city of Portsmouth: Mordaunt is opening a handful of foodbanks. However, the MP has decided to call them something else, in a bid to make her move slightly less awful than it actually is.

Mordaunt’s food ‘pantries’, not ‘foodbanks’

As the News reported, Mordaunt is paying for three food “pantries” (not ‘foodbanks’ – ‘pantries’) to open in Portsmouth. She’s funding it from the royalties of a book she wrote. The News said that these pantries are where:

people facing financial difficulties can buy heavily-discounted groceries.

Yes, we know. That’s a foodbank – right? Well, not if you’re Mordaunt. The News continued, implying that unlike foodbanks:

No referral is needed to access them.

Never mind the fact that people don’t need a referral from places like Citizens Advice to access many independent foodbanks, anyway. So, what is the difference between Mordaunt’s pantries and a foodbank? The News revealed that:

a typical weekly shop bought through them would cost as little as £4.

Read on...

Right – so you have to pay for the food. Now it’s making sense. Essentially, Mordaunt admits people are too poor to afford food, so has set up a load of discount shops under the guise of helping her community – which are foodbanks in all but name (and the fact people have to pay). Her party’s governments have caused poverty to skyrocket. Yet Mordaunt is so proud of her pantries that she filmed a video telling us all about them.

“They’re NOT foodbanks”

Mordaunt said that:

Food pantries are a great scheme that can help families reduce their food bills by about £800 a year. They’re not foodbanks where you need to be referred in. They’re open to everyone, and for a few pounds a week you can get a decent shop.

Naturally, people on Twitter weren’t having Mordaunt’s nonsense. TV host professor Alice Roberts noted the foodbank overtones of Mordaunt’s pantries, while also highlighting her cynicism:

Someone else pointed out the gaslighting:

And as writer Will Black implied, rebranding foodbanks is pretty ghoulish:


As Tribune Magazine wrote:

In 2010, 60,000 food bank packages were handed out in Britain. Last year, it was 2.5 million. This is the result of political choices – and the cost of living crisis will see millions more fall into food poverty.

The Tories have been in power all that time. So, Mordaunt would never admit that foodbanks were a scourge of successive governments – that would implicate her in the horror. Instead, this ghoul chooses to gaslight everyone who has to use them – by rebranding them and making our she has a charitable nature in the process. Mordaunt is supposed to be the palatable face of the Tories – yet here she is, running around trying to appeal to the ‘squeezed middle’ with this ‘food pantry’ dross. Beyond rancid.

Featured image via Sky News – YouTube and Guardian News – YouTube

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. I agree that Ms Mordaunt is being cynical in her adoption of the name ‘pantry’ as a euphemism for the grim reality of food banks.

      It is also a cynical adoption of a term being used by groups in Glasgow who applied the word to a change in the operation of food banks in their areas, partly to reduce the Impact of the stigma attached by the media to food banks, partly to encourage people who for reasons of self respect were reluctant to seek support. The ‘pantry’ approach entails a weekly membership payment which allows members to choose a number of items. So, it is giving a sense of agency. Local supermarkets and stores donate food and other items which are unsold at the end of trading. But, much comes from donations by the public. The organisations also prepare food and one near me has just opened a community cafe on a Main Street. The local football club and the local housing association provide funds and premises, and their staffs and that of the adjacent local health centre patronise at lunchtimes and tea breaks.

      This is about empowerment of people who have been disempowered for decades.

    2. Seems to me that Miss Mordaunt is only doing what the FDA in America do with their surplus produce. Namely sell it at a reduced price at food stores.
      She could just as well not bothered at all and kept the profits from her thought provoking book (have you even read it Steve Topple) for herself.
      Not every Tory is an evil Tory, just as not every Labourite is a boss kissing wannabe toff.
      Accept that at least she is attempting, in her own way, to undo some of the wrongs of her peers. However she phrases it.
      Bravo Miss Mordaunt.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.