Mary Creagh MP, Labour's Shadow Environment Secretary, was in Lancashire on Thursday campaigning for the Government to take urgent action to help families hit by higher food bills and struggling to make ends meet.
The cost of living crisis is affecting households across the country. Food prices rose by more than four per cent over the last year and a family with two small children are now paying £233 a year more for food.
Lower income families are eating 30% less fresh fruit and vegetables compared to six years ago while an increasing number are relying on foodbanks to help feed their families.
According to the Trussell Trust, the leading food bank charity, 130,000 people will receive help from one of their distribution centres this year. The food waste charity FareShare estimates it feeds 35,000 people per day.
Mary, who together with West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper visited the South & West Lancashire Food Bank, said:
“This Tory-led Government are out of touch with North West families feeling the squeeze from higher food bills and struggling to make ends meet. It is an utter disgrace that even though we are the seventh richest country in the world we face an epidemic of hidden hunger, particularly in children.
“The Government needs bring in a Groceries Code Adjudicator with real powers to tackle unfair practices in the retail sector, and start defining and measuring food poverty if we are to tackle it effectively.
"Supermarkets should make their labels clearer to ensure people get the best value from their shopping and commit to using more of their food to help feed people, rather than throwing it away as soon as it comes off the shelf.”
Rosie Cooper MP whilst visiting South & West Lancashire Food Bank, said “I would like to thank Mary for visiting the food bank in Skelmersdale. She got to see how this fantastic community organisation is helping families in real need to ensure they are able to feed themselves.”
“More and more families are having to rely on the food bank yet the lack of funding means the future of this service is under threat.”
“When I say the Conservative-led Government is cutting too far and too fast, it’s because I see what their decisions mean for the people in my constituency. The loss of this service will have a devastating effect on so many families who rely on it.”