Council motion: Food poverty

Bath and North East Somerset Liberal Democrats recently put forward this council motion highlighting the impact of food insecurity and how that can lead to food poverty. The motion reads:

Council notes:

  1. The Department of Health and Social Care definition of food poverty as “the inability to access or afford food to make up a healthy diet”.
  2. That food poverty is a complex issue with many causes; that it can affect anyone, including many people who work and many families, even in an apparently well off area such as ours.
  3. There is a growing problem of food insecurity in the UK, affecting as many as 8.4 million people, of which increasing reliance on food banks is one symptom.
  4. That food banks in Bath and North East Somerset supply thousands of food parcels each year to local people.
  5. Efforts by the Council to raise awareness of families’ eligibility for free school meals, and by extension the pupil premium, locally.
  6. The importance of local food systems and education in ensuring access to affordable, sustainable and healthy food options.
  7. The Council has previously adopted a Local Food Strategy for Bath and North East Somerset.
  8. Addressing food poverty may contribute to improving the health, wellbeing, education and independence of local residents; supporting the local food economy; and reducing environmental impacts.

Council, therefore:

  • Commends the invaluable work done by local charities, churches and food banks in Bath and North East Somerset to support people facing food poverty and crisis.
  • Requests the Children, Health & Wellbeing Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel to work with local organisations and develop recommendations for a Food Poverty Action Plan for Bath and North East Somerset.
  • Requests that the Cabinet investigate refreshing the Local Food Strategy for Bath and North East Somerset.

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