South Shields MP's joy after Government agrees to measure the scale of food insecurity in the UK

The Government has agreed to measure the scale of food Insecurity after a successful campaign led by South Shields Emma Lewell-Buck MP.

By Verity Ward
Wednesday, 27 February, 2019, 11:39
South ShieldsEmma Lewell-Buck MP.

In 2017, the Labour MP introduced a Private Members Bill to Parliament calling on the Government to start measuring food insecurity in the UK.

Her food Insecurity Bill had the backing of 38 organisations, 159 MPs and 18 peers.

Mrs Lewell-Buck says she is delighted to be one step closer to tackling the country's food poverty plight.

She believes little can be done to combat people not being able to afford a healthy diet until the scale of the problem is known.

On Monday, the Government announced that - starting in April 2019 - the Department for Work and Pensions will measure food insecurity as part of their annual Family Resources Survey.

The results of this first survey will be published in April 2021.

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But Mrs Lewell-Buck is disappointed that it;s taken so long to reach this stage - but thrilled things are now moving in the right direction.

She said: "I am thrilled that the Government has finally agreed to implement the asks from my Food Insecurity Bill, and will start measuring UK hunger.

"It is a real pity that it has taken this long to be enacted as every single day that has passed has been a day that another person has gone hungry.

"This positive step forward should not be used as an excuse for Government inaction whilst this important data is being gathered.

"The enacting of my Bill should be seen as a pre-cursor to real action on the devastating levels of hunger we are seeing in all of our communities.

"I want to give special thanks to the Food Foundation, End Hunger UK, Feeding Britain, all of my colleagues who have supported the Bill and Jo Benham Brown (Key Project) for her petition. Together we are showing that ending hunger is possible.”