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.