Skip to main content

Surplus Food

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 28 June 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the invitation to organisations to participate in the 1990 surplus food scheme; and if he will make a statement.

I announced to the House on 19 March that the surplus food scheme would be continued for a further year. Following that announcement, the press coverage that attended it and the individual invitations issued by my Department, we have been able to designate 420 organisations to distribute approximately 3,800 tonnes of butter and 3,000 tonnes of beef to the most needy citizens of the United Kingdom.I have deliberately designated more organisations than in previous years in order to meet the criticism that there was "patchiness" in the availability of food across the country. But as the quantities are limited, it must be understood that the assistance must, necessarily, be spread more thinly as a result.The charitable and voluntary organisations wishing to participate asked for far more than is available under the scheme. I have therefore had to share the butter and beef as fairly as possible between them, by allocating to each organisation an amount proportional to the number of needy people it will reach. I have given special priority in allocating this food to organisations providing prepared meals and to those serving the homeless and destitute.I am placing a list of all the organisations I have designated to participate in this year's scheme in the Library of the House and my officials will now be writing to all organisations that applied.