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Food Poverty

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL446, tabled on 18 June 2014

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to monitor the scale and causes of food poverty in the United Kingdom; and what steps they plan to take.

Answered on

2 July 2014

The root causes of household food insecurity are varied and complex. The Government is committed to playing its part in tackling both short and long term challenges. While it is not the Government's role to set food prices, we work to promote open and competitive markets that help offer the best prices to consumers.

Through Healthy Start the Government provides a nutritional safety net that encourages healthy eating to around half a million pregnant women and children under 4 years old in low income and disadvantaged families throughout the UK. The Government provides free school meals to disadvantaged children, and the Deputy Prime Minister has announced healthy free school meals for all school children in reception, year 1 and year 2 from September 2014. We are reforming the welfare system to make it fairer, more affordable and better able to tackle poverty, unemployment and welfare dependency. We are also providing increased access to jobs through the Government's efforts to promote growth in the economy.