‘We need proper pay’: Deliveroo riders flood UK streets in rights strike. The Right to Food campaign, designed to eradicate the food poverty of millions, is growing exponentially across the country.
The organization was started by Merseyside Fans Supporting Foodbanks with the help of MP Ian Byrne, with the aim of legalizing the right to food. The Westminster Committee now wants the Government to adopt this policy and end food insecurity.
Why is the right to food important?
The levels of food poverty in the UK, as well as its reliance on food banks, have risen steadily year on year for almost a decade. But the number of people in need of emergency food parcels reached higher levels by 2020 after the Covid-19 disaster that left thousands without jobs or saw their livelihoods cut short.
Nearly two million people who turned to food banks last year rose sharply from the 913,000 who received emergency food in March 2013. Meanwhile about 10 million people across the country are facing food poverty, according to Ian Byrne, campaign leader and Member of Parliament for Employers Liverpool West Derby.
What will the right to food mean if it is accepted nationally?
Giving everyone the legal right to food can place a burden on Government to eradicate hunger.
Many of those who support the Right to Food campaign have specifically called for it to be included in the National Food Strategy, an independent review commissioned by the Government that has been described as England’s biggest food policy shake for 75 years.
Newcastle councilor Ann Schofield, who successfully introduced a proposal that led the city to officially support the campaign, told The Big Issue that the government had “severely failed due to hunger, especially children”.
Campaigners believe it will give the public more power to hold ministers accountable by eradicating food poverty, by creating a legitimate way to use it.
The law will place a new burden on the authorities to ensure that everyone has access to food. That could include measures to increase people’s income (such as rising – and necessary – real living wage), relief on living expenses such as utility bills, and easy access to nutritious food such as providing free school meals to more students.
Who started the Right to Food campaign?
Who already supports the right to a food campaign?
Local leaders across the country, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Liverpool have supported the campaign.
Some organizations such as JustFair and Sustain UK have helped to carry out this work, while others such as Unite the Union have provided their support.
What can I do to restore my right to food?
A public petition calling for the Government to enact the law has collected almost 50,000 signatures.
“Addressing poverty in all its forms is of paramount importance to this Government,” the ministers replied, adding: “We have provided an unprecedented level of funding over the past year to protect the most vulnerable of the COVID-19 epidemic.” The petition is still collecting signatures.
People who want to get involved are invited to send an email to Ian Byrne MP to add their signature to the Right to Food campaign pledge, or to ask their local Parliament to sign the Early Day Motion on Food Insecurity and Right to Food.
Campaigners also urged members of the public to contact National Food Strategy chairman Henry Dimbleby to recommend that the Right to Food be included in the review.