The Inquiry is launching its final report in the House of Commons today, Monday 8th December, having taken evidence on the extent and causes of hunger in Britain, the scope of provision to alleviate it and a comparison with other Western countries.
End Hunger Fast welcomed the recommendations in the report released this morning and reiterated its call for the Government to tackle the growing hunger crisis.
Holding an urgent inquiry into the causes of food poverty was one of the key demands from the campaigning coalition End Hunger Fast, launched in February this year with a letter from faith leaders including 27 Anglican Bishops calling for Government action on welfare, wages and food prices.
Rev’d Keith Hebden, End Hunger Fast campaign spokesman says:
Britain’s hunger problem is now plain for all to see including this influential group of parliamentarians. We must come together and tackle the root causes of hunger, wages, benefit sanctions and rising food price inflation.
We call for urgent government action to adopt the recommendations within this report to ensure all can live a life of dignity, free from poverty. Intervention is sorely needed to protect people from poverty and not leave them stranded in an insecure jobs market. A living wage should be a minimum expectation for everyone in work.
Chris Mould, Trussell Trust Chairman says:
The APPG on food poverty and hunger’s seminal report goes beyond anything that’s been done before on the problem of hunger in Britain. This powerful cross-party document validates what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time about the distressing reality of hunger in the UK, and it turns the spotlight on the specific problems that need addressing.
“People calling for action on hunger in the UK have not been scaremongering. The overall volume of people needing help from the UK’s food banks has to be reduced. The report sums up this point perfectly, saying: “We believe the establishment of ‘Feeding Britain’, alongside a higher Minimum Wage and a fairer and more reliable benefits system can help rebuild our national minimum to ensure we live in a ‘Zero Hunger Britain”
Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance says:
“Christmas is about gifts. God’s gift to us, and our gifts to each other. Yet, many families have nothing to give this Christmas. These report findings show us that, despite the great wealth in our society, it is the unemployed and the working poor who are suffering the most because of our economic difficulties. I hope that the government will respond to these disturbing findings by initiating a long-term strategy in partnership with faith communities and others to address the structural and cultural issues that are making people hungry in the UK.”
Notes to editors
Earlier this year End Hunger Fast launched a national day of fasting to put pressure on the Government to act immediately on welfare, wages and food markets and meet their duty of care to poor and vulnerable citizens. It called for:
– Living Wage: The majority of households in poverty and at risk from hunger are in work and the number accessing . Work should pay, the minimum wage and support for the Living Wage must be used to make sure of it.
– Welfare: half of all those going to food banks have been referred because of benefit delays and changes, including punitive sanctions. Regardless of changes to welfare policy and attempts to make savings, the welfare system must be there to stop people going hungry and must fulfil this mission.
– Food prices have gone up 30.5% in the last 5 years, way ahead of general inflation and way ahead of wages. At the same time the poorest among us have to pay 19% more for food in a poverty premium and more and more people are forced to buy cheap and unhealthy processed foods. We call for a review into food markets and supply chains to establish actions needed to ensure all are able to afford healthy, nutritious food.