Lancaster food partnership calls on city council to support 'right to food' motion
A group of Lancaster-based community food practitioners have launched a petition calling on Lancaster City Council to declare support for the right to food to be incorporated into UK law.
City councils in Liverpool, Manchester and Salford have already committed to becoming Right to Food cities.
They call upon all UK towns and cities to come together to demand the Government guarantees the right to food, ending the scandal of food poverty and food insecurity, which affects more than 10 million people in the UK.
At a full Lancaster City Council meeting today, Wednesday March 24, a motion will be presented in support of the Right to Food Campaign. The petition is requesting that councillors give this motion their full backing, and more than 18,500 people have already put their name to it.
A spokesman for food partnership FoodFutures: North Lancashire’s Sustainable Food Network said: "It is unacceptable that in 2021, in one of the most prosperous nations in the world, people are going hungry.
"In 2019, the Government supported the UN resolution on the Right to Food, but declined to incorporate this into UK law so there is no legal mechanism to enforce the right to food.
"The Government is now measuring household food insecurity, but measurement without action does not prevent hunger.
"In Lancaster district, our local food banks have maintained a delivery of more than 500 household food parcels each week during the pandemic. Many more households were also supported through community food clubs and outlets.
"The Lancaster District Food Poverty Alliance launched a local strategy last month to support action on food insecurity. This will also be incorporated into FoodFutures' 10 year local food strategy for north Lancashire.
"We have a strong community-led safety net in our district of which we can be proud, but this does not represent a right to food."
Legislation enshrining this right to food would set out tasks and responsibilities for a wide range of public bodies that would need to take action to ensure that everyone has enough good food.
This could include requiring measures to improve people's incomes (such as requiring a Real Living Wage and implementing a Universal Basic Income), controlling everyday costs (such as taking action on utility bills), and improving access to good food (such as free school meals).
To sign the petition and add your name to the growing movement of people and places calling for the right to food to be incorporated into UK law, go online here.Food Futures: North Lancashire’s Sustainable Food Network is an award-winning regional food partnership working to build a collaborative community of practitioners, policy makers and researchers working on food matters in the local area.
It is made up of representatives from the Lancaster District Food Poverty Alliance, local farming community, local food businesses, the public sector, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council, NGOs, community food groups and our local academic institutions, including Lancaster University.
This partnership of people across the food chain in the Lancaster dstrict work together to provide healthy, sustainable and fair food for everyone in the district.