Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston said:
“In one of the richest countries on Earth, no one should go hungry. Yet millions of people in the UK are struggling to feed themselves and put food on the table. Now, hard-working families are bracing themselves for the biggest drop in living standards in thirty years with petrol, food and energy bills are all skyrocketing. People have been left to choose between putting food in the fridge or money on the meter and while working families deserve security, prosperity and respect, they aren’t getting it. And, this isn’t just because of Covid or global problems.
“Despite having years to prepare for Brexit, the incompetent Conservatives have failed to make Brexit work that’s resulted in labour shortages and supply chain disruption causing increased prices for basic food items.
“Even before the Covid19 crisis hit, it was estimated that over eight million people in the UK regularly had trouble putting food on the table, half a million people used foodbanks and one million people lived in food deserts where it is impossible for people to buy healthy food. Trussel Trust figures show that the number of children eligible for free school meals has increased in Birmingham by 30% since 2016. But this unsustainable rate is entirely unsurprising when we have a government that have cut Universal Credit to 6 million families, increased National Insurance Contributions and have failed to tackle rising energy bills.
“Tackling hunger was a founding cause for the co-operative movement, and for me, as a Labour and Co-operative MP, this remains as vital today as it did then. That’s why I am proud to stand alongside my Labour colleagues in calling for the Government to set out a national strategy for food including how it intends to ensure access to high quality, sustainable, affordable food for all and meet the Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger by 2030.”