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Free Food

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in Scotland have received during the last 12 months free food distributed from surpluses which the Council of Ministers approved for such release.

Information in the form requested is not available, but some 2,000 tonnes of butter and a similar quantity of cheese, 96 tonnes of beef, 1·4 million litres of milk and a small quantity of concentrated butter was distributed to needy people in Scotland under the previous EC scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) which organisations in Scotland are in charge of future free food distribution following the permanent scheme for food surpluses recently approved in the European Community by the Council of Ministers;(2) how many people in Scotland he estimates will receive free food in 1988, according to the recently approved permanent scheme for food surpluses in the European Economic Community.

The implications of the scheme recently adopted by the Council of Ministers are being carefully considered by the Government in consultation with the main charitable organisations. A financial ceiling of £69 million for the Community as a whole in 1988 will limit the quantities distributed and hence the numbers of recipients.