On Wednesday Layla Moran who is the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs challenged the Prime Minister with her concern about Surplus Food which she clearly recognises that it needs to be redistributed. In doing so on the 24th of November she was following on from a call from Conor McGinn who raised the same subject back on the 22nd October. As it happens although Conor McGinn’s constituency (St Helens North) has not yet begun to sign the petition, the constituency for Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon) already has 13 signatures which is a good starting point. So the petition can be found here and the text of it is below. However first of all lets read the debate that she has with Boris Johnson a couple of days ago. Along with her support for the principles in the petition she kindly endorses FareShare which is another beneficial if the petition can reach 100,000 signatures.
Layla Moran: The Cherwell Larder in Kidlington does incredible work to serve nearly 2,000 of my most vulnerable constituents, but there simply is not enough food to go around at the moment. This is a national crisis. The stock of charities such as FareShare is down 30%, in part due to the same supply chain issues that are affecting supermarkets. First, will the Prime Minister help the Cherwell Larder by restoring the funding of FareShare? And what more can he do to incentivise businesses to give away surplus food this winter so that no family need go hungry this Christmas?
Boris Johnson: I thank the hon. Lady for raising FareShare and I thank it for what it is doing to support people this winter, and indeed at all times. My experience is that businesses do an amazing job of contributing to this effort. Iceland is one company that springs to mind. We are addressing the supply chains night and day, and we are seeing some of the problems starting to ease. They are the result of the British economy and the world economy coming back to life, which frankly would not have happened if we had listened to the Leader of the Opposition.
And here is the text from the petition
Provide additional funding for redistributing surplus food
In April the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee called on the Government to provide ongoing funding to redistribute surplus food from the farmgate and across the supply chain to food aid providers. In June the Government said there were no plans for further grants. This should change.
A Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair told the Committee “that the Government takes food waste very seriously” and that she expects “this to be an area in which we continue to work as Government”. We need the Government to provide public funding to enable the many agencies to carry out the work necessary to prevent food waste and improve food security.