News Right to Food

Sustain's response to the Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Committee

Our response to the House of Lords Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment is now available online. 

This inquiry looks at the roles food and poverty play in producing health inequalities, and the links between our health, our diets, and the sustainability of our food systems.

Ultimately, the Committee wishes to recommend changes to Government policy to remedy the situation.

Our written evidence covers some of the key causes of UK food insecurity including the roll-out of Universal Credit; Tax and Welfare reforms disproportionately affecting those on lower incomes; reduction of provision of meals on wheels services; changes to free school meal entitlement; and the extra costs linked to having a disability. We also cover the rise of childhood obesity; rural poverty; and the links between immigration status and food insecurity.

Sustain's submission includes a number of good practise examples where local authorities have for example had a targeted approach to takeaways near secondary schools in order to promote healthy eating or where schools have committed to providing 365 days of meals to those who need them in order to tackle holiday hunger. 

Finally we call for the adequate recognition of the Right to Food domestically. This would for example, help embed measurement of household food insecurity; give vulnerable people and their advocates the right to demand action on factors affecting people’s personal circumstances (e.g. wages; housing and energy prices; and eliminating the ‘poverty premium’); put a duty on local and national authorities to take practical steps and provide adequate resources to improve incomes long-term, as well as help people through crisis; and trigger a requirement for provision of helpful and dignified support, facilities and services (e.g. breastfeeding support, free school meals, meals on wheels), as well as the necessary funding and other resources to achieve these.

You can read our full written evidence here. 

Published Thursday 30 January 2020

Right to Food: Everyone has the right to enjoy safe, nutritious and sustainable food. This project advocates the realisation of the Right to Food in UK law.

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