To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to involve (a) food surplus re-distributors and (b) frontline charities that feed vulnerable groups including (i) homeless shelters, (ii) domestic violence refuges, (iii) mental health groups in supply chain conversations and planning in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Defra Ministers and officials have been meeting regularly with the food industry to understand the potential impacts of a no deal scenario in October and support contingency planning by the industry. Alongside this, there has been cross-Government engagement including Defra with 3rd sector organisations to understand the concerns and views of representatives from the food aid sector.
The Government is committed to a strong safety net for those who need it and will continue to spend over £90 billion a year on welfare benefits. Additionally, Defra is working to increase levels of surplus food being redistributed through a £15 million fund to reduce unnecessary food waste that is still edible and can be redirected to feed those in need.