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Giving Compass' Take:
• James Hitchings-Hales, writing for Global Citizen, discusses the report by UN poverty investigator Philip Alston who found that the UK has very concerning food insecurity issue.
• While food banks and volunteers are helpful for the growing hunger crisis, it is not a sustainable solution for addressing the problem of poverty and hunger. Can donors work with the government to provide more long-term relief?
• There is an animated film that shares stories of English people that go to food banks regularly.
When UN poverty investigator Philip Alston toured the UK in November 2018, he was shocked by what he found: “rapidly multiplying” food banks, children living in destitution, and, according to his report, the very real consequences of 10 years of political austerity.
“In the fifth richest country in the world, this is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one,” Alston wrote.
The government said it “completely disagreed” with Alston’s analysis. But two months later, MPs are urging it to take action — and to appoint a minister for hunger to tackle growing food insecurity in the UK.
More than 8 million people struggle to put food on the table, according to the Food Foundation, and the committee have urged the UK to create a new public role to investigate the origins and impact of the issue and implement plans to fix it.
“The combination of high living costs, stagnating wages and often, the rollout of Universal Credit and the wider benefits system, means that levels of hunger in Britain are some of the highest across Europe,” Creagh said. “We found that nearly 1 in 5 children under 15 are living in a food insecure home — a scandal which cannot be allowed to continue.”
The report suggested that food insecurity is a "significant and growing"problem that doesn’t match up to the government's pledge in 2015 to work “tirelessly” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — a set of 17 objectives to end global extreme poverty by 2030, including a promise to end world hunger.
"It's time for the government to take concrete steps towards a UK where everyone has enough money for food," she said. "Although food bank volunteers are providing vital support to those in crisis, no charity can replace people having enough money for the basics.
Read the full article about food insecurity in the UK by James Hitchings-Hales at Global Citizen