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5th Jul, 2022

District chiefs to consider action plan to tackle food poverty

AN ACTION plan to tackle food poverty in Stratford district is set to be considered by council chiefs.

Liberal Democrat councillor Manuela Perteghella has put forward a motion, seconded by Coun Neil Edden, to Stratford District Council (SDC) to tackle food insecurity affecting families in the district.

Stratford Foodbank has already seen year-on-year increases in demand, with over 6,600 residents, including children, fed across 2020 – a rise of nearly 60 per cent compared to the previous year.

Nationwide, foodbank parent charity The Trussel Trust reported the pandemic’s impact had seen the number of parcels given to children more than double in the last year.

Stratford Foodbank manager Marion Homer has praised the councillors for raising the issue. She said: “I am delighted to see the issue of food poverty being addressed by the SDC cabinet. This is an issue that our volunteers see on a daily basis – last year our foodbank distributed over 4,000 parcels, an increase of 41 per cent on the year before. No one should have to use a foodbank to feed their family so I’m glad our councillors are looking to see what change is needed to improve this situation.”

The councillors are asking the authority to investigate the extent and causes of food insecurity in the district, to consider ways to tackle it, and support those affected by working in partnerships with local foodbanks and organisations.

Other methods which could be considered include sites for community food growing, and urging local MPs to make representations to the government on the issue of household food insecurity and poverty.

Coun Perteghella said: “Sadly, the demand for foodbanks has dramatically increased in our district in the past few years, and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. My motion asks Stratford on Avon District Council to implement a local food poverty action plan, working in cooperation with other tiers of governments and with our local foodbanks, so that food poverty causes can be tackled and eventually eradicated. While changes are needed from central government, our local authorities can still do their bit to help ensure that all residents have the right to access and afford healthy and nutritional food.”

The motion will now be presented to the district council cabinet on Monday March 8.

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