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Food Banks

Volume 536: debated on Thursday 24 November 2011

The Church is heavily engaged in food banks across the country. There is a national network of food banking centres in towns and cities. Food banks give out nutritionally balanced emergency food to people in crisis. Food banks also offer additional support to put people in touch with relevant agencies that can offer further support.

In South West Bedfordshire, churches in Dunstable and Houghton Regis have just agreed to set up a food bank, and churches in Leighton Buzzard run a homeless service. Churches in those towns also support street pastors. Churches throughout the constituency are taking part in the “Let’s Stick Together” initiative run by Care for the Family. Does my hon. Friend agree that that is an amazing record of achievement in contributing to our local community?

I hope that churches across the country will seek to engage with and support their local communities whenever they can. The churches that my hon. Friend cites in his constituency are an excellent example. Local churches can support food banking in several ways, including through the direct giving of food donations, and through volunteering and working where necessary to step in to assist those in need. I hope that we can do that right across England.

Will the hon. Gentleman join me in congratulating the Bishop of London on his support for the “Feeding the 5,000” event in Trafalgar square last Friday? That organisation looks at how we can use the phenomenal amount of food that goes to waste in this country to feed people who are in food poverty.

The Bishop of London’s leadership on that initiative is excellent, and it is an excellent initiative.