MPs want hunger minister role introduced

Category : UK News
Updated On : January 11, 2019 05:25 AM
By Indian Times Daily

A group of MPs wants the government to introduce a Minister for Hunger to respond to a growth in food insecurity in the UK - especially among children.

The Environmental Audit Committee highlighted 2017 Unicef figures showing 19% of children under 15 in the UK live with adults who struggle to buy food. It says ministers have failed to recognise and respond to the problem. The government says the number of children living in workless households is at a record low.

But MPs say the number of people without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food - or food insecure - is "significant and growing", with the unemployed, sick or those with children most likely to be affected. The committee wants to see the appointment of a new minister with "responsibility and accountability for combating hunger and food insecurity within the UK".

The job would involve exploring the scale, causes and impact of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition and implementing strategies to improve the situation. The committee's report also highlights the close relationship between hunger and obesity.

"Insufficient access to food may lead to risk-averse purchasing habits and prioritisation of low-priced, filling foods with long shelf lives - which are often nutrient poor but calorie-rich," the report says. A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said that, since 2010, one million people had been lifted out of absolute poverty - including 300,000 children.

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