No one should have to suffer the indignity of relying on emergency food aid. But over the past decade, we have seen food bank usage soar. This should shame us all.
Recently the Government confirmed that the cut to Universal Credit will go ahead at the end of September. This will see nearly 6 million people and their children lose out on £1000 per year – families who were already struggling to make ends meet.
Research from The Trussell Trust suggests that 1 in 5 Universal Credit claimants will ‘be very likely’ to turn to food banks in order to survive if this cut goes ahead. Almost half said that they would cut back on food for themselves, while 13 per cent – 220,000 people – said that they would cut back on food for their children.
This is unjust – and we need to work together to change it.
At the Co-operative Party, we are campaigning for food justice – tackling food poverty locally, and campaigning for a more strategic approach nationally. Because we know that together, we can end hunger in the UK.
Alongside the wider co-operative movement, we have been campaigning from the ground-up to tackle food insecurity. From local initiatives that deliver a dignified response to food poverty, to campaigning for the Right to Food to be incorporated into law, our campaign shows the best of our movement – bold and practical action to deliver radical change, from village halls to national parliaments.
Now, we must continue the campaign for food justice by calling on the Government to keep the lifeline and make the Universal Credit uplift permanent.