If anything is a marker of the time in which we live it’s the food bank.
Here we are, one of the most advanced countries in the world, in many areas awash with cash, yet still the need is there.
Of course food banks, or their equivalent, have always been around, from the soup kitchens of yester-year to more organised affairs.
But what’s shocking is that 15 years into the 21st century, it’s a problem and a problem that, if anything, is growing.
As we report today on page 6, one food bank, Basics in Fareham, has seen its user numbers rise sharply over the past four years alone.
The way it works is that people in need are referred by the JobCentre and they are given a food parcel.
At this particular bank, they can get four in a year.
These will typically contain tinned and dry goods to help the recipient make a range of nutritious meals.
And the reasons for people finding themselves needing to use the food banks are many and varied.
It could be, as at Basics, that more people have had their benefits cut under tough new rules brought in by the Conservative government.
But it could just as easily be desperate families, sometimes to embarassed to go to their local food bank – a sorry state of affairs.
It’s certainly too late to stem the tide of need when it comes to people’s food shortage.
But it’s not too late to do your bit to help.
Many supermarkets and other shops across the area have drop-off points for donations.
So next time you’re out shopping, if you can spare a few pence, why not buy an extra tin or some pasta and do your bit to help those who need a hand. You never know when it could be you.