Frank Field MP
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I have some early progress to report on our Feeding Birkenhead campaign.


I have some early progress to report on our Feeding Birkenhead campaign.

Schools and local voluntary groups have begun putting in for funds to feed hungry school children during the Easter holiday.

Jobcentre Plus has agreed to consider handing out leaflets to people as they begin looking for work, containing information on the deals they can access to protect them from rip-off charges.

Our campaign group will meet again soon to put together a rota for the credit union, welfare rights groups and the Council’s Benefits team to visit those local groups who provide hot meals and food parcels, so they can begin working with people to sort out some of the problems that have led them to hunger.

By doing so, a first visit or two to a food bank need not turn into four, five or more.

And supermarkets and manufacturers are beginning to talk with us about getting more of their excess stock to the hungry.

This is absolutely crucial. I saw some brilliant work being done with this during a recent visit to Community Shop in London.

Community Shop invites people on low incomes to sign up as members, so they can buy good quality food for 30p in the pound.

It’s cheap because the food industry has deemed it to be surplus and then sold it to Community Shop. A whole batch of Maltesers was deemed waste because the closing date had passed for the competition on the packaging. Yet the chocolates themselves were perfectly edible.

Thankfully, Community Shop stepped in and, alongside food, it offers people love and friendship, and their staff work with people on cooking, debt, budgeting and looking for jobs.

I am working with Wirral Council to try and get one in Birkenhead, as the next step in our campaign.

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