Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, is demanding the Government reinstates funding to help farmers and food producers distribute fresh, unsold food to frontline charities.
Previous Government funding covered the costs of farmers’ storage and transportation, which resulted in almost twice as much food reaching frontline charities. But that funding has now ended.
Tony said, “The recent Universal Credit cuts and the ongoing HGV driver shortage is bound to have a significant impact on charities and Foodbanks across the country, as they may have to shrink the size of food parcels due to shortages.
“Yet two million tonnes of fresh, unsold food is wasted in the UK every year. That’s an astonishing and shocking figure. Good, healthy food should not be going to waste from growers and producers in the UK, when it could be used to feed those who need it.
“Last year, the charity FareShare redistributed the equivalent of 210,800 meals in Rochdale through 14 local organisations. The re-introduction of this funding would enable them to nearly double the amount of food that they could provide to people across the UK through saving surplus food.
“That’s why I’m demanding the Government commits to vital food waste funding ahead of next week’s Spending Review. Without it, the food will be needlessly wasted – thrown into biogas digesters, sent to landfill or simply ploughed back into the fields – and without it, the people who need this food the most will suffer.”
Tony joins 53 MPs from both sides of the House in writing to Prime Minister Johnson, demanding the Government to commits to vital food waste funding ahead of next week’s Spending Review. In the letter, Tony insists for £5m a year to offset the costs of redistributing food from farmers and businesses to charities. This will help the UK mitigate 124,378 tonnes of carbon.
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said, “In 2019, the Government demonstrated a bold commitment to tackling food waste, with a successful trial that diverted millions of meals’ worth of great quality food from British farms to frontline charities providing care and support to vulnerable families.
“With just over a week until the Comprehensive Spending Review and two weeks until COP, we urge the Government to once again show leadership on this issue and commit to extending vital funding to get in-date, nutritious food onto people’s plates.”
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