Comments on a radio show sparked a row over spending on spending on gambling, cigarettes and booze in Goldthorpe.
The controversial issue was raised when a credit union supervisor was asked about a new social supermarket set up for the poor in the town.
During an interview, Radio Sheffield DJ Toby Foster questioned why the people of Goldthorpe needed the Community Shop which will offer surplus food at a third of the price for people on benefits.
Speaking on the programme, Lisa Howell of the Goldthorpe branch of the South Yorkshire Credit Union, said of people’s money: “A lot of it goes into gambling and drinking and by the time they’ve paid their bills and everything there isn’t much left for food”.
Lisa later clarified her position: “I was mortified - he caught me on the hop. I didn’t mean that’s what they all do.
“They don’t have a lot left by the time they paid their bills and bedroom tax. We are here to help people not to judge them.”
The South Yorkshire Times went to Goldthorpe to see what people thought.
Pete Finnegan, 68 of Bolton said: “I think people get themselves into a rut. Alcohol and gambling are more dangerous than weapons It’s a massive problem all over the country and it’s the families who suffer.”
Mrs Myrna Noble, 67 of Goldthorpe said: ”There might be one or two but people I know spend whatever money they get on food. It is so easy to criticise I find it so vindictive.
Graham Smith, 66 of Darfield, said: “I don’t think anyone has the right to pass judgement. As regards a shop to help people with food I’m all for it.”