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South Shields MP Emma backs bid to help end food poverty

Emma Lewell-Buck pictured at the inquiry into food poverty.
Emma Lewell-Buck pictured at the inquiry into food poverty.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck is aiming to force supermarkets to donate unsold food to help feed the hungry.

The MP was a member of the All-Party Inquiry on Hunger and Food Poverty, under the chairmanship of veteran Labour MP Frank Field.

It makes economic sense

Emma Lewell-Buck

It identified food waste as an area requiring Government action in its Feeding Britain report, published in December of last year.

Now Mrs Lewell-Buck has sponsored a Bill from Labour Parliamentary colleague Kerry McCarthy which aims to prevent food being wasted unnecessarily, and save produce that could be used to feed hungry families.

The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill would require supermarkets to donate unsold food so that it can be given to those who need it, following a similar successful law introduced in France.

It also sets a target for large supermarkets and manufacturers to reduce their food waste by 30% by 2025, and requires supermarkets to publish information about how much food is wasted in their supply chains.

Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “Countries like France have shown that setting targets and requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food can make a big difference, and I think we should follow their example.

“It makes economic sense, environmental sense, and mostly importantly it’s the right thing to do.”

The All-Party Inquiry on Hunger and Food Poverty, members of which paid a fact-finding visit to St Jude’s Church Hall in South Shields, called for major supermarkets to double the proportion of surplus food they redistribute, and to reduce the amount of food which goes to landfill.