Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell has joined a cross party group of MPs calling on the Prime Minister to take urgent action on food waste.   

Two million tonnes of fresh, unsold food is wasted in the UK every year. Funding to help farmers and food producers get this food to frontline charities has now ended. If the funding were to be extended, it could create an additional 53m meals for vulnerable families. Without it, the food will be needlessly wasted – thrown into biogas digesters, sent to landfill or simply ploughed back into the fields.

The #FoodOnPlates campaign, run by FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, has called on the Government to commit to vital food waste funding ahead of next week’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The letter calls for £5m a year to offset the costs of redistributing food from farmers and businesses to charities.

Catherine McKinnell said: “I have visited the FareShare warehouse in Westerhope and I know the fantastic work that they do to tackle food poverty and support voluntary organisations in Newcastle and the North East. In Newcastle North last year, FareShare redistributed theequivalent of 305,000 meals via over 20 local organisations.

“Good, healthy food should not be going to waste in the UK, when it could be used to feed those who need it. Not only is the food desperately needed to address food poverty, but wasting it is bad for the environment also.

“I have joined MPs in calling for the Government to use the Spending Review to allocate this lifeline funding which would result in significant environmental, social and economic benefits.”  

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell, said: “In 2019, the Government demonstrated

a bold commitment to tackling food waste, with a successful trial that diverted millions of meals’ worth of great quality food from British farms to frontline charities providing care and support to vulnerable families.”

“With just over a week until the Comprehensive Spending Review and two weeks until COP, we urge the Government to once again show leadership on this issue and commit to extending vital funding to get in-date, nutritious food onto people’s plates.”