Cumbrian MP Backs #FoodOnPlates Campaign To End The ‘Scandal’ Of Unsold Food Going To Waste

A Cumbrian MP is backing a campaign to end ‘scandal’ of unsold food being wasted, instead of donated to charities feeding people in need

Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border and member of the Commons EFRA Select Committee is backing the #FoodOnPlates campaign to stop millions of tonnes of fresh, unsold food from being wasted, when it could instead go to charities and community groups feeding families.

Dr Neil Hudson at one of the farms in his constituency

One in 8 people in the UK struggles to afford food – and the pandemic has resulted in many more families facing food insecurity, with 67 percent of charities providing emergency food aid saying they would have to continue, even as restrictions ease.

However, more than a quarter of all the food grown in the UK is never eaten, representing over six percent of total UK greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Hudson said he’s backing the campaign to support the most vulnerable in his constituency.

He said: “Charities and community organisations in Penrith and The Border have been working tirelessly to support our community with food throughout the pandemic and beyond.

“That’s why I’m backing the #FoodOnPlates campaign for funding for farmers to get their unsold fresh food to charities supporting vulnerable families, instead of having to waste it.”

The campaign is being led by food redistribution charity FareShare, who, in Penrith and The Border last year, redistributed the equivalent of 91,200 meals via nine local organisations.

They are calling for funding that would enable them to nearly double the amount of food that they could provide to people across the UK, through saving surplus food.

The charity, which is backed by Marcus Rashford, and celebrity chefs Tom Kerridge, Prue Leith, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, recently beamed falling carrots onto landmarks across the capital, including the Houses of Parliament – as they called on government to commit to vital food waste funding.

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell called it a ‘scandal’ that food is going to waste when it could go to those in need.

Lindsay said: “I’m very pleased to be working with Dr Neil Hudson. Our network of frontline charities have been a lifeline for families during the pandemic, and, sadly, demand now remains at similar levels.”

“It’s a scandal that good food is left to rot in our fields or be thrown into biogas digesters or landfill when so many families are still dependent on food aid in the wake of the crisis, with thousands more unable to afford healthy fruit and veg.”

“France rescues six times more unsold food that we do in the UK, in part thanks to tax breaks that cover the additional costs of getting that food to charities.

“That’s why we’re calling on the UK government to reinstate landmark funding to save good food and get it onto people’s plates.”