Salford’s Labour Council has backed the Right to Food campaign, which aims to make good, nutritious food a legal right for all its citizens.
The backing from Salford was announced at Greater Manchester Combined Authority Meeting on Friday 12 February.
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett will now be sending a letter to the government, indicating the need for drastic change to the National Food Strategy, and the importance of introducing a new policy which includes the goals of the Right to Food campaign.
Salford City Council joins other councils across the country who are continuing to lobby for change.
Paul Dennett, the City Mayor of Salford, said: “People should not have to go without food in 2021 in this country – one of the richest countries in the world. So I am backing the Right to Food campaign, a lobbying effort calling on central government to make access to food a legal right in the UK as part of the National Food Strategy. I will continue the fight for a better and fairer city for all.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic the council has worked tirelessly and even provided the provision of food for anybody in the city our is struggling. This has been backed by support from businesses, community organisations and volunteers. I am so proud that the whole city has come together to support each other in these extremely difficult times and see the true Spirit of Salford in action.
“The statistics surrounding food poverty across the country are heart breaking; the number of families who contend with these difficulties, alongside the daily struggles of coping with a pandemic.
“The Spirit of Salford helpline set up in March 24, 2020 has provided almost 3,500 food parcels so far and in Salford alone in October when the government wouldn’t support hungry families over half term, we gave out over 2,000 vouchers to prevent holiday hunger. Salford Food Bank, the main provider in the city issued 358 parcels to 228 people in January and they have been working with Bethany church in Littlle Hulton to feed around 70 families every week.
“This is a shocking indictment of a government that fails to support those who require it most, during the most trying times in public memory.”
Councillor Sharmina August, Executive Support Member for Equalities, Communities and Social Impact at Salford City Council said: “Having delivered food parcels around the city during lockdown, I’ve witnessed the need for a new approach to resolving the very real problem of food poverty in the UK. It’s disgraceful that so many are unable to provide sufficient food for their families, and that the government has done so little to help.
“The need for Marcus Rashford’s repeated campaigns to secure sufficient food for children during school holidays makes it clear that the Conservatives simply don’t understand the struggles faced by people in this country. The Right to Food seeks to change that, and, more than simply change it, completely remove this issue once and for all.
“At the City Council we are committed to defending the rights of our residents, and, when those rights need to be extended, we’re committed to that too. No one, of any age or in any circumstances, should go hungry. At Salford City Council we will continue to do everything we can to support anyone who requires assistance, while working hard to change the law to ensure that food poverty is resolved once and for all.”