COVID-19 emergency food programme

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are running an emergency food programme to protect children and their families from hunger. Hot meals and food packages are being made available, through a combination of home deliveries and collection points in the community, to ensure families on low incomes can put breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table each day. A donation of just £10 can purchase the equivalent of 30 meals for a family at risk of hunger.

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Income maximisation and affordability of food

We recognise that, at their core, many of the issues to do with hunger in the UK come down to the issue of money – people need enough money in their pockets to be able to buy good quality, nutritious food in ways that respect their dignity.

We are focussing on two issues that we feel are key to making sure this is the case for everyone.

1. Labour market policy and social security

Feeding Britain is regularly encouraging the Government to renew its policy on minimum wages, zero-hours contracts, and the enforcement of labour rights to ensure a fair day’s work delivers a fair day’s pay. We also worked with the Government on the development of its Kickstart programme to prevent long-term youth unemployment. 

The evidence gained from our projects enables Feeding Britain to contribute regularly to parliamentary inquiries on social security, and to raise emerging issues with ministers. This work has delivered changes in policy and administration relating to tax credits, Child Benefit, sanctions, and benefit assessments, but we know there is always much more to be done and we will continue gathering and applying evidence.

2. Measuring household insecurity

There has never been a proper national measurement of hunger or food insecurity in the UK. Having accurate data on this would mean the issue is recognised, and can be properly addressed through government policies based on reliable evidence. We are therefore calling for an annual national measure on household food insecurity.

Feeding Britain worked closely with Emma Lewell-Buck MP on a Bill calling for the introduction of an official annual measurement. In 2019, the Government began working with the Office for National Statistics to begin implementing this proposal. Feeding Britain has continued contributing to this area of work. 

Acting on the data

Measuring the problem is only the first step. Once a national measurement of household food insecurity is introduced, we will focus on monitoring the analysis and action that is taken at national level as a result, to ensure that the data translates into meaningful policies to prevent people going hungry.

Feeding Britain’s evidence to policy inquiries

Ofgem Warm Homes Discount, May 2018

Ofgem consultation on prepayment meters, November 2017

Ofgem Consultation on Prepayment meters, August 2017

Questions asked by Feeding Britain’s trustees on behalf of the hungry

Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West) (SNP) 26 February 2020

Frank Field (Birkenhead) (Ind) 05 December 2018

Frank Field 09 October 2018