THERE is little doubt that the rise of food banks during the recession has been a major embarrassment to the coalition government.

Great play has been made of this depressing boom industry by Government critics, among them the Labour opposition.

Of course, Ed Miliband and Co are standing in a glasshouse as they lob stones at Prime Minister David Cameron on this one. Nobody should forget their part in the economic meltdown which hit in 2008.

However, there are other, less feverish voices expressing similar concerns about food banks expanding at an alarming rate, even in affluent areas such as Mr Cameron’s Witney constituency.

One of them is the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, who delivered a plea for action to the Prime Minister’s constituency offices yesterday.

We are sure Mr Cameron will respond by saying that reviving the economy is the best way to render food banks obsolete.

That may be true, although we suspect not everyone will be carried off to economic nirvana when things pick up.

But a promise of jam tomorrow does not address the central point: that even in a recession the people of a modern, 21st century society should not have to rely on food handouts to survive.

The history books will judge us all harshly on that one.