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Healthy and Sustainable Food

Volume 679: debated on Thursday 10 September 2020

We have commissioned the national food strategy independent review. Other Government policies are addressing healthy food provision, including the tackling obesity strategy, healthy start vouchers and free school meals. Sustainable food production is absolutely at the heart of our future agriculture policy.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. Local welfare provision can be a lifeline for families on the brink of food poverty. That is why I warmly welcome the Department’s funding allocation of £63 million of emergency support back in July. I am growing increasingly concerned, however, that this funding is due to expire in October, at the same time that the furlough scheme is drawing to a close, food bank use is rocketing and we will be in the midst of a recession. What future funding will the Department allocate for local welfare provision?

We have put in place a number of interventions to help people struggling with food affordability, particularly in lockdown and its aftermath. We continue to keep all these policies under review. We have the free school meals voucher system that ran, as the hon. Gentleman says, over the summer, and there are other measures that we have been working on with local authorities.