Bishop of Truro to co-chair food bank inquiry

Published 27 February 2014  |  
(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

The Bishop of Truro will partner with Labour MP Frank Field to chair a major parliamentary inquiry into food poverty and the increased demand for food banks in the UK.

Over half a million Brits have received three days' worth of emergency food from Trussell Trust food banks since last Easter, while hospitals are reporting a doubling in the number of people being admitted for malnutrition.

This has led to widespread criticism of the Government's welfare reforms, as the budget is reduced by £17.7 billion and hundreds of thousands of Brits on benefits are reporting delayed payments and other difficulties in receiving vital funds.

The inquiry will be led jointly by Bishop Tim Thornton and Mr Field, and backed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty.  The Inquiry will explore the causes behind food poverty, and just why so many British families are struggling.

Bishop Thornton has expressed his delight that the issue is being taken up by Parliament.

"I am deeply concerned at the growth in the need for foodbanks amongst those without work or on low incomes," he said.

"Churches are already providing a great deal of assistance up and down the country, and I am especially pleased that the Inquiry will come to Truro to hear first-hand from communities in my diocese, as part of its series of evidence sessions across Britain."

The bishop has underlined the significance of Government leaders agreeing on a response to address the "root causes" of hunger, indicating that this is vital in tackling social injustice.

"The stronger our understanding of the reasons for hunger in Britain, the more effective that response can be," he said.

Mr Field noted that it is about time that politicians debated the topic, declaring: "At long last the debate on hunger in this country has taken off."

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