Labour to halve number of food banks within first year in government

Labour has pledged to halve food bank usage within twelve months if they enter government, and will try to end the need for them altogether within three years.

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said the party would ensure “no-one in the country needs to go hungry” with the “right to food” enshrined in law.

Labour said food insecurity has soared since the party left office in 2010, and there are now 2,000 food banks across the UK.

The party will aim to pass a “Fair Food Act” to ensure everyone in the UK has a right to food, and will create a National Food Commission to monitor food insecurity.

It will also establish an Access to Food Fund to kick start the development of local community food plans – which could establish local food markets, community gardens, community shops and kitchens – in the 50 most food-deprived areas of the country.

Ms Hayman made the announcement as she visited a food bank donation point at the Whitehawk Football Stadium in Brighton, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

She said: “In the world’s sixth richest country, it is a scandal that people are going hungry.

“This Government’s mean-spirited welfare policies and failure to think differently has brought the situation to crisis point.

“Climate change and a reckless no-deal Brexit threaten to make the issue of food insecurity even worse.

“Food is a basic human right. The next Labour government will introduce a right to food in a Fair Food Act.

“We will make sure no-one in the country needs to go hungry.

“We will kick start our efforts to build a secure, community-based local food system with a £6 million Access to Food Fund, initially targeted at the areas of the country with the highest levels of food insecurity.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire.