Play: Foodbank choir sings poignant & powerful Beatles rewrite

People with experience of going hungry have captured the anger and anguish of food poverty in song, with a moving cover of a Beatles classic.

The Food Glorious Food choir consists of people who have used the Gleadless Valley Foodbank in Sheffield and some volunteers.

Choir leader  Yo Tozer-Loft worked with the group, and in just six weeks they were able to perform at Sheffield Cathedral at the launch of the next phase of the End Hunger UK campaign.

They sung six songs, but the most moving was A Little Foodbank Help, a cover version of the Beatles classic, With A Little Help From My Friends.

Watch  the video here:

The lyrics are particularly powerful and personal, because Yo asked each of the singers about their own experience of using the food bank and being trapped in poverty, then formed the lyrics from their answers.

These are the lyrics in full:

What would you do if I told you I’m skint
Would you stand up and say that its me?

Lend me your ears and I’ll try to imprint
What its like to be feel food poverty

Oh I get by with a little Food Bank help
But it makes me wanna cry to see the empty shelf
An’ I feel so ashamed with zero-contract wealth

What do I do when its school holiday?
Does it hurt to see them go without?
How do I feel by the end of pay day?
Ends won’t meet, we’re stuck, we can’t go out

Oh I get by with a little Food Bank help
But it makes me wanna cry to see the empty shelf
An’ I feel so ashamed with zero-contract wealth

Do you need lower prices? (Yes!)
I need a decent salary (£10 an hour)
Could it be legislated? (In the Commons)
We’re calling from the Public Gallery

Would you believe in a better UK?
Yes I’m certain that our nation has the brains
We want to work and be part of today
Feed the people an’ we’ll all make gains

Oh I get by with a little Food Bank help
But it makes me wanna cry to see the empty shelf
An’ I feel so ashamed with zero-contract wealth

Do you need a better system? (Yes!)
I was sanctioned for a hospital trip (My belly’s empty)
Do you think MPs will listen? (We’re exhausted)
Bad policy is losing its grip (Universal Credit isn’t working!)

Oh I get by with a little Food Bank help
But it makes me wanna cry to see the empty shelf
An’ I feel so ashamed with zero-contract wealth

Yes I get by with-a-little-help from Food Bank friends –
I need to know where this ends

End Hunger UK!

You can watch more of the choir’s performance in sheffield Cathedral here.

Everybody  in the UK should have access to good food, but our economy isn’t working as it should. A volatile employment market and the benefits freeze mean many people’s incomes are too low to cover their essential costs.

The End Hunger UK campaign calls on the next Government to prioritise ending hunger and poverty increase the UK, by developing a strategy across all departments, that tackles the root causes of poverty.

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