Naill Cooper Director of Church Action on Poverty has written for our blog on the need to make Hunger an issue at the upcoming election.
Like all charities there are limits to our campaigning around the general election, however as members of the End Hunger coalition we do believe that elections can be an important time for our supporters to ask their political representatives where they stand on hunger.
The next few weeks does provides an opportunity to make hunger an election issue. The basis of End Hunger UK is the belief that Government has a positive role to play in ending hunger in the UK. If you attend a hustings over the coming weeks we would encourage you to ask a question along the lines of:
“With foodbank use increasing again in the last year, what role do you think government has to play in ending hunger?”
Two reports were published in April provide some useful material that you may want to refer to:
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger published the results of an inquiry on holiday hunger, containing recommendations on how to tackle hunger during school holidays, including a package of measures for Government to take to eradicate hunger among children during school holidays.
Universal Credit and Foodbanks
Trussell Trust published a new report, Early Warnings: Universal Credit and Foodbanks, highlights that although the rollout of the new Universal Credit system for administering benefits has been piecemeal so far, foodbanks in areas of partial or full rollout are reporting significant problems with its impact.
Key findings from the report reveal:
- Foodbanks in areas of full Universal Credit rollout to single people, couples and families, have seen a 17% average increase in referrals for emergency food, more than double the national average of 7%.
- The effect of a 6+ week waiting period for a first Universal Credit payment can be serious, leading to foodbank referrals, debt, mental health issues, rent arrears and eviction. These effects can last even after people receive their Universal Credit payments, as bills and debts pile up
We know many of our members will be attending or organising hustings and we believe this is a brilliant opportunity to ask your local parliamentary candidates about their views on hunger and how is can be tackled. Please let us know what they say.