Independent food banks in call for immediate action by incoming government

IFAN, the Independent Food Aid Network (which includes the Food Hub), has drafted a letter for food banks to consider sending to local Parliamentary candidates at the General Election.

The letter states: “Food banks and other food aid providers are being asked to do the impossible by supporting too large a number of people unable to afford food. These include both people in work whose wages are not enough to cover the cost of living as well as people who are already receiving all their social security entitlements but are still not able to make ends meet.”

IFAN is calling on the next government to take immediate actions to address food insecurity through a cash first or income-focused approach including:

  • the adoption of an Essentials Guarantee – a step towards ensuring a Living Income and a well-functioning social security safety net;
  • the removal of the benefit cap, the two-child limit, sanctions, the five-week wait for Universal Credit, benefit deductions and No Recourse to Public Funds status;
  • the permanent provision of funding for local crisis support schemes to enable every UK local authority to distribute help via cash payments;

 

  • ensuring employers pay a real Living Wage and provide job security;
  • investment in local advice services.

Sabine Goodwin, IFAN’s Director, said: “Without question, the first priority of any incoming government must be to take immediate steps to address soaring poverty in the UK. We urge all candidates to put policies aimed at reducing food insecurity at the very top of their priorities list.”

IFAN is also drawing up a letter to send to the new Prime Minister the day after the Election on 5th July. It hopes that as many as possible of its member organisations will add their signature to the letter.