A recent report from the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organisation suggested that as many as 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to put enough food on the table, equivalent to the entire population of London.
Many people across the UK go without adequate and nutritious food – for all sorts of reasons. There are many charities working first-hand with thousands of local community groups and projects across the UK that support people affected by hunger. And while the voluntary sector’s support can be “life-changing”, it is clear that longer term solutions are urgently needed to tackle the issue.
Dan Crossley, Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council said:
“No citizen of the UK should have to go to bed hungry. The government needs to provide a genuine safety net for people who are struggling, and not abdicate its responsibilities to charity.
“We want to see the government using its powers to incentivise healthy food and disincentivise unhealthy food, using all the tools in its toolbox, including tax.”
Speaking on behalf of the charities behind the campaign, Niall Cooper, Director at Church Action on Poverty, said:
“You might imagine that in modern day Britain we all have enough food to eat, or that hunger is only experienced by the few. Yet we see working parents missing meals so that their kids can eat, and vulnerable individuals turning to charities on a daily basis to get a meal. This is simply unacceptable.
“That’s why we’re calling for an urgent, national conversation about what needs to be done, by the Government and others, to ensure that children get the food they need to give them the best start in life, and that nobody in the UK needs to go hungry.”
People affected by hunger, or with ideas about how the Government should tackle the issue, are being urged to add their voice to the campaign by joining End Hunger UK’s ‘Big Conversation’ online, on social media using the hashtag #EndHungerUK, or at local charity and community group events being held across the UK, until March 2017.
For more information about End Hunger UK, please visit the campaign website (this link takes you away from the Food Ethics Council's website).
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Notes to editors
1. Alongside the Food Ethics Council, other charities supporting End Hunger UK include Child Poverty Action Group, Church Action on Poverty, Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, FareShare, First Steps Nutrition, Food Matters, Independent Food Aid Network, Magic Breakfast, Nourish Scotland, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, The Food Foundation, and The Trussell Trust.
2. The UN report on food poverty can be downloaded at www.fao.org/3/a-i4830e.pdf, and a briefing is available from The Food Foundation at http://foodfoundation.org. uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FoodInsecurityBriefingMay-2016-FINAL.pdf