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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Co-op MP's highlight Food Banks

The rising need for foodbanks- particularly for working families was highlighted in a recent House of Commons debate led by Co-operative MP Luciana Berger.

Labour and Co-operative members showed up in numbers, creating what one MP described as a ‘tour de force’.  On the opposing side, Conservatives were only represented by one front-bench member who consistently seemed to be out-gunned by Labour and Co-operative members.

The debate shed light on the growing problem of food poverty and the massive increase of visitors at local food banks.  As one MP explained, “In this country, more people are facing food poverty in work than those out of work”. 

Several Co-operative Party MPs participated in the debate including Luciana Berger, Andy Sawford, Stephen Doughty, Meg Hillier, Chris Evans, and Jonathan Reynolds.  Co-operative MPs were in strong agreement that the increase in food bank attendees and supermarket prices is a direct result of the current government’s policies.

Members concurred that this crisis is an absolute tragedy in the 21st century and that immediate action ought to be considered.  Despite the enormous challenge presented, MPs were able to discuss ways in which co-operative action can be beneficial to solving the problem.  Campaigns such as the Co-operative Group’s You CAN Help were mentioned and several other instances were mentioned when communities have created partnership with local farming and agricultural bodies.

You can read the full report here.

Locally, the Eastbourne Foodbank does a tremendous job- and has helped over 6,500 people over the past 18 months.   They highlight the fact that over 3,850 children currently live in poverty in Eastbourne. You can find out more about their work, including how you can help, by clicking here.

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