Food Insecurity and Food Poverty requires FareShare

Last Wednesday in Scottish Parliament there was a conversation that took place under the headline of Food Insecurity and Food Poverty organised by the Labour MSP Monica Lennon. She began the discussion with the phrase “To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with food producers, manufacturers and distributors regarding supply chains and how to tackle food insecurity and food poverty.” The SNP member who responded was Shirley-Anne Somerville and the response from Shirley-Anne and response from Monica is listed below. The other person who took part was Rachael Hamilton who is a Conservative MSP and her comment did not relate to FareShare so I have not included that here but the whole of the discussion can be obtained from here. So here is the comments from Shirley-Anne and Monica and they follow on from the call listed above and we can hope that the UK Parliament will observe these comments and introduce them in the House of Commons.

Shirley-Anne: The Scottish Government has regular engagement with food producers, manufacturers and distributors, including via the food sector resilience group and the retail industry leadership group. We also engage directly with third sector food groups such as FareShare that redistribute food for social good.

Although third sector groups are able to provide inclusive community activities, the Scottish Government believes that everyone should have the money that they need to access food with dignity and choice. As promised in our programme for government, we will soon publish our plan, which is grounded in human rights. It sets out the further action that we will take to improve the response to hardship and reduce the need for food banks.

Monica: I am grateful to the cabinet secretary for her response, and I am glad that she mentioned FareShare. We are seeing the highest rate of inflation in food prices for almost 50 years, and FareShare has reiterated the struggles that it is experiencing. As colleagues know, FareShare redistributes surplus food to charities and communities across the country, but it is seeing a reduction in what is available to it because of industry pressures.

Last year, the then Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands convened a summit on the issue. Will there be a follow up to that, and what more can the Government do to support charities such as FareShare?

Shirley-Anne: I join Monica Lennon in commending the work that FareShare does, which, unfortunately, is still widely needed in our communities. She is right to point to the work that the cabinet secretary did in convening the summit. As part of my portfolio, I, too, am very interested in working with FareShare and other parts of the third sector to see what we can do to support it.

The important part—which I mentioned in my original answer—is our plan, which we are due to publish soon, to ensure that we are considering what can be done to support families and end the use of and need for food banks in Scotland. However, until we are at that stage, there is, unfortunately, a role for food banks and the work that FareShare does. I am happy to have further discussions with Monica Lennon about that, should she wish.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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1 Response to Food Insecurity and Food Poverty requires FareShare

  1. Pingback: Scotland Parliament refers to FareShare again | ianchisnall

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