Food and immigration status

Photo credit: Independent Food Aid Network

Photo credit: Independent Food Aid Network

For some people, it is not yet clear if they will be eligible for the support available to others if they are struggling to afford the food they need to be able to stay at home during the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. These include:

  • EU nationals living in the UK
  • Asylum seekers
  • People with 'no recourse to public funds' (NRPF)

Sustain is investigating what support can be offered to people in these groups, if they lack the money or access to food that would enable them to shield, self-isolate or maintain social distance. 

No recourse to public funds (NRPF)

Sustain has joined others in campaigning for suspension of the immigration status 'no recourse to public funds' (NRPF), at very least for the duration of Covid-19.

This is a group who need specific and urgent support because they are more likely to be destitute, isolated, BAME, have inadequate housing and experience food insecurity over a long period - all of which may mean they have multiple vulnerabilities to Covid-19.

Recent activities and developments on NRPF during Covid-19 include:

  • A landmark High Court ruling on 7 May 2020 that found the NRPF status to be in breach of human rights. Guidance to the Home Office to implement the ruling will be issued over the coming weeks. 
  • Sustain's Covid-19 briefing looking at how the No Recourse to Public Funds condition is not compatible with the Right to Food.
  • Sustain joined immigration charities calling for extension of free school meals to all children with NRPF, 30 April 2020.
  • In response to a judicial review pre-action letter from lawyers, the Department for Education agreed to extend free school meal entitlement to some families who have NRPF, 9 April 2020.
  • In our joint briefing with Project 17, we look at how immigration policy affects children's access to free school meals. 

If you have information to share on this theme, please write to: imogen@sustainweb.org

Coronavirus Food Alert

Sustain's work on food resilience in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.We are helping secure food for vulnerable people and supporting local emergency responses.

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