According to a new report almost one in ten households experienced food poverty during the two most recent national lockdowns.
The committee recommends:
- A new Minister for Food Security should be appointed to ensure the most vulnerable have access to affordable and nutritious food.
- In the event of another lockdown, the Government should ensure that families with children eligible for free school meals continue to be able to feed their children.
- The report also calls on the Government to learn from the ‘unacceptable’ food parcels provided by some suppliers in January, and ensure that 'any future offering is consistently up to standard'.
- The Government should provide ongoing support to charities working to distribute surplus food from the farm gate to frontline food aid providers.
Neil Parish MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee, said: "During the Covid crisis, different Government departments pulled together to make sure that the most vulnerable in our society were fed.
“This should set a precedent. We have a duty to ensure that access to enough nutritious food is a fundamental right for everyone in the UK, which is why, for the second time in a year, our committee urge the Government to appoint a new Minister specifically to address food security.
"The Government must now learn lessons from the pandemic, using the teething problems it encountered in distributing food to ensure that, in 'normal times', disadvantaged groups- such as those without internet access- do not slip between the cracks.”