To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that there has been an increase in the number of food banks set up in UK schools.
9 September 2019
This answer is a correction from the original answer.
There is no official data or record of the number of foodbanks in the UK. However, the Government wants to develop a better understanding of household food needs to help ensure that support is targeted at those who need it most. This is why the Government has worked with food insecurity experts, the Office for National Statistics and the Scottish Government to introduce a new set of food security questions in the Family Resources Survey starting from April 2019. This means that we will in future be able to able to monitor the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity across the UK and for specific groups, to better understand the drivers of food insecurity and identify which groups are most at risk.
To help families on low incomes we are supporting 1.3 million children with free school meals, investing up to £26 million in school breakfast clubs, providing approximately 2.3 million children aged 4-6 with a portion of fresh fruit or vegetables each day at school, and, through the Healthy Start Programme, hundreds of thousands of low income families benefit from vouchers which can be redeemed against fruit, vegetables, milk and infant formula.
It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.