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It's time to tackle food poverty

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18 December 2014
Whitefoot Food Bank Yesterday I spoke in a debate in the House of Commons about food banks. In my speech I spoke about the alarming rise of the use of food banks and the reasons why people visit them – benefit changes and delays, debt, homelessness, unemployment and underemployment. The levels of poverty experienced by people who can’t put food on the table is appalling in one of the richest cities in the world. The response from the community to tackling food hunger, however, is inspiring. 

In my speech I mentioned the two food banks which operate in Lewisham East to provide much needed support to those in genuine hardship, and paid tribute to the work of Fred Esiri at the Elim Pentecostal Church and Cllr Janet Daby at the Whitefoot and Downham Community Food + Project. The latter project was recently awarded the Paul Goggins Memorial Prize for best civil society initiative to tackle poverty in their local area.

It is people like Fred and Janet and others up and down the country who are tirelessly working to combat food hunger. But it is ultimately the responsibility of Government to tackle the underlying causes of the rise in food banks by creating decent jobs which pay a decent wage, building homes which people can afford to live in, taking real action on energy prices and reforming the benefits system so it treats people like human beings. 

You can read my speech from yesterday’s debate here.

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