MPs urge Government to appoint a new minister for food insecurity

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) has published a new Covid-19 and Food Supply report recognising that the pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity for millions of people. 

The Committee calls on the Government to appoint a new cross-departmental Minister for Food Security who would collect robust data and implement sustainable change.   

With use of UK foodbanks almost doubling during lockdown, the report, produced by a cross-party group of MPs, recognises food insecurity and food waste as significant problems that were widespread throughout the UK even before the pandemic.  

The report also calls on the Government to continue to fund the £5-million-a-year FareShare project to redistribute ofood, that would otherwise be wasted, to frontline community groups.  Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, said: “Once the pandemic set in, Defra responded well. However, there were misunderstandings in Government about where – and how – people were going to get their food just before and during lockdown. Rather than “panic”, it was entirely reasonable that many people would be buying much more food in shops and online. Excluding convenience stores and discount retailers from the national voucher scheme for free school meals also showed a significant misunderstanding of where families need to shop.” 
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