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Vulnerable People: Food Supplies

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East

What steps he is taking to maintain food supplies for vulnerable people during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We have mobilised an unprecedented package of support for our most vulnerable people, including over 3 million food boxes and priority supermarket delivery slots. An additional £63 million has been confirmed by the Government to be distributed to English local authorities to help those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials. The Government are also providing £16 million to food support through charities, including FareShare and WRAP.

Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East

The current pressure on food banks is absolutely immense, and we know that income is at the heart of food poverty, so will the Government take the urgent social security measures needed now to get people the financial support they need, so they can get food on their plates and on their children’s plates, by ending the five-week wait for universal credit and abolishing that punitive two-child limit?

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government have introduced a package of support of over £6.5 billion to help families on benefits to cope with the financial impact of covid.

I would like to use this opportunity, if I may, to pay tribute to the taskforce, which I have led for the last few months, on feeding the vulnerable. We have worked very closely with colleagues across Government—in the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and other Departments—as well as, of course, with an excellent team from the supermarkets and volunteers. I am pleased to say that, in so far as we have been able, we have ensured that everybody who needs it has access to food.

Several hon. Members:

rose—