When the orphan Oliver extends his hands and asks for more we understand what real need is.
Sadly, 186 years after Charles Dickens wrote his classic tale, children in Glasgow are having to seek meals from city food banks.
No-one is suggesting today's circumstances are as extreme as those of the 1800s. However, it is a damning indictment of the failure of economic and social policy when so many people, including youngsters, have to rely on the charity of others to get food in their bellies.
Charities, and the public who support them, have done an incredible job of stepping up to help those who find themselves in need, often as a direct result of changes in benefits and other economically punishing legislation.
But, when the scale of hunger poverty is so high and the need grows daily more has to be done by local and national politicians, the business community and the wider society.
No one group will resolve the issues alone, but collectively they should be doing more.
Scotland, and Glasgow in particular, needs a well-led strategy for dealing with this blight.
No one should be ashamed of asking for food or other help. But perhaps the rest of us, especially those in positions of power, should be ashamed that so many need to seek assistance.