COVID has exacerbated deep inequalities in the UK. In Haringey, foodbank use has increased by 1400% compared to last year. Every day hundreds of residents are making desperate choices on how to survive financially, and all too often they and their children are skipping meals to make ends meet.
This week, we have joined the calls for the right to food to be enshrined in UK Law.
The #RightToFood campaign, led by Ian Byrne MP and backed by Unite the Union, is calling to make the government legally responsible for addressing the raging income inequalities and the broken benefits system which have pushed so many into poverty.
It would force the government to scrap its cruel five week wait before a claimant receives a penny of Universal Credit, a main reason why people are forced to turn to food banks.
Investing £200,000 in our Foodbanks
Haringey is committing £200,000 to supporting our local foodbanks, with sustainability grants being given directly to our local Foodbanks and further investment in our Foodbank Network.
Cllr Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “Whilst we wait for National Government to take action, we are committed to supporting the work of our local communities who have stepped in to fill the gap.
“I hope these grants give them some stability for the fantastic work they are doing. Without their work and the kind donations from local people and businesses, many of our residents would have gone without food”.
Cllr Blake will continue to lobby Government for better resources to assist our community through this tough time. As part of the #RightToFood campaign we will be making a submission to the National Food Strategy review and promoting the national #RightToFood petition in Haringey to pressure this Government to act.
How you can help
Write to the National Food Strategy: anyone who wishes to support the #RightToFood campaign can write to Henry Dimbleby, Chair of the National Food Strategy, which is the first independent review of England’s entire food system for 75 years and which in early 2021 will publish part 2 of a rigorous, evidence-based analysis of the current food system. You can contact the National Food Strategy team to ask that they recommend the Right To Food be put onto a legislative footing when they report in 2021. Email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support your local foodbank: You can find a list of all the foodbanks in Haringey and how you can support them on the Council website https://www.haringey.gov.uk/covid-19/foodbanks