Penrith And The Border MP Visits Liverpool As Part Of EFRA Committee

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, visited a host of community food initiatives in Liverpool to gather evidence for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee’s Official Inquiry on Food Security.

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said: “Food Security is a critically important issue that ultimately boils down to making sure the nation is well fed with affordable and nutritious food, so I instigated a Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue which will ultimately inform national policy with critical evidence from those on the ground.

“Our Liverpool visit was incredibly useful for our Committee, hearing from community groups who have developed sustainable models to help those in need with food poverty and present them with the tools to help themselves moving forward.

“It was humbling to see the great work being done in the city of Liverpool and I pay tribute to my colleague on the EFRA Committee, Labour’s Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne for his vision and dedication in being the driving force behind many of these community initiatives.

“Having spoken and met with individuals and organisations in Penrith and The Border, I know there is important work being done on food aid across the country, and I look forward to helping Government with meaningful food security interventions in the future.”

On the visit, Dr Hudson and his fellow EFRA Committee MPs saw first-hand the organisations and people providing food aid and wider community support to those struggling to make ends meet.

This included food banks, community pantries and initiatives from both Premier League teams in the city, Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs.

Having been brought into sharp relief by the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, and spiralling production costs, the Cumbrian MP triggered the Food Security Inquiry which is probing everything from food supply chain resilience and inflation to self-sufficiency levels and land use.

Having heard from farmers and land experts, this trip represented the other end of the agri-food chain.

The EFRA delegation was invited to visit initiatives including:

  • Fans Supporting Foodbanks Mobile Pantry  
    • Originally set up to collect food donations from Liverpool and Everton football clubs to help those struggling in the Merseyside community, the operation has now expanded to a mobile pantry which guarantees £25-£30 worth of food for £3.50 and drives to locations across Merseyside.
  • Everton in the Community  
    • Everton Football Club’s charity operate the Blue Base Pantry in partnership with Fans Supporting Foodbanks, St Andrew’s Community Network and Your Pantry. Alongside Fans Supporting Fans, residents can pay a small fee for a wide range of top-quality food.
  • Liverpool FC Foundation 
    • The official charity of Liverpool Football Club, the foundation works in areas of high needs and deprivation across the Liverpool City Region to deliver sustainable, long-term change. the EFRA Committee learnt more about their efforts in tackling food poverty by delivering fresh and healthy meals, breakfast clubs and even Christmas dinner hampers.
  • St Andrew’s Community Network 
    • Rooted in St Andrew’s Church, Clubmoor, the network has been supporting people in North Liverpool for 20 years. The network currently provides money advice, foodbanks and community pantries. From 11 foodbank sites, the charity has fed 10,618 people and distributed 150 tonnes of food.

Ultimately the Committee will collate all their findings into a report for Government that will inform policy making in order to make sure British consumers can access healthy and nutritious food.