Sustain, an alliance of organisations providing food for people most in need, and its members have written a letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, demanding a national hardship fund that will guarantee that vulnerable adults and children will not go hungry in case of a no-deal Brexit.
The letter, which is supported by the Food Research Collaboration, warns that food price inflation and disruption to supplies could lead to food donations to frontline charities drying up, leaving hundreds of thousands of people at risk of going hungry.
The hardship fund would make cash grants to secure adequate food provision for the period of disruption, which could be three months or longer, with money distributed via suitable public sector institutions, agencies and channels.
The letter was also sent to Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, previously Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, now Cabinet member with responsibility for no-deal Brexit preparations.
Rising food prices resulting from a no-deal Brexit have been predicted by the Governor of the Bank of England and Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill. There has as yet been no indication how the government plans to help those who are especially vulnerable to food supply disruptions and price increases.
Sustain has also launched a petition asking Boris Johnson, the new Prime Minister, to prevent a food crisis for people most in need. The alliance has previously asked for a hardship fund from Theresa May in March 2019, with the Food Research Collaboration among the signatories of that letter.
Image: Food bank at the Cornerstone Community Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme (by Staffs Live shared under CC BY-NC 2.0 license).