Food: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 26th June 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that financially vulnerable people have access to the food and necessities that they need in (a) Stoke-on-Trent, (b) Kidsgrove and (c) Talke.

Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that financially vulnerable people in (a) Stoke-on-Trent and (b) Staffordshire have access to (i) food and (ii) other necessities.

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

We have received £16 million from a DCMS funding pot to help critical front-line services ensure that vulnerable people have the food that they need. We are working with FareShare and the Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) to deliver this, as well as other charitable organisations through the COVID-19 Food Charity Grant Scheme. They will use surplus food and purchased food from the supply chain to help at least 5,000 front-line charities, covering England and rural areas.

An additional £63 million has been confirmed by the Government to be distributed to local authorities in England to help those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to coronavirus.

Local authorities are already working hard to support those who are vulnerable and this additional funding will contribute to that work.

Many have existing mechanisms to provide this support in a way that suits the needs of their community. This includes provision of cash payments, food vouchers, or alternative means of support. We are currently finalising the amounts to be allocated to different Local Authorities.

This funding will sit alongside the £6.5 billion of extra support the Government is providing through the welfare system to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected throughout this crisis.

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