Food: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 25th January 2021.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment has she made of the implications for her policies of the increase in demand on food banks and charities providing emergency food during the third lockdown.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

No such assessment has been made. Throughout this pandemic, this Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and businesses and, for those in most need, injected billions into the welfare system.

The new Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter. The funding is ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to help with food and bills, and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.

DEFRA has made an additional grant of £16 million to FareShare to support local charities across England with the purchasing and distribution of food over a 12-week period that began at the start of December. This follows the £16m of funding announced last May for the provision of meals through charities.

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