Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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Beating hunger in Birkenhead - A progress report


May I please salute our local voluntary groups and churches who are stepping up the fight against hunger in Birkenhead?

Following our most recent meeting of Feeding Birkenhead, Involve Northwest and Wirral Citizens Advice Bureau have agreed to send a representative to attend various food bank sessions in Birkenhead to help clients with benefits and debt issues. This intervention may help prevent somebody’s first emergency visit to a food bank becoming two, three or even more.

Love Food Hate Waste has offered to advise people on making small amounts of food go further, through storage techniques, better use of leftovers, and knowledge of use-by dates. There is real potential here to help people make the most of limited resources.

Wirral Council also deserves credit. It is developing the technology which should allow the Council automatically to register all eligible children for free school meals so that no one misses out, nor have to go through the application process. This move will also ensure that schools receive their full Pupil Premium entitlement.

And the Council’s Benefits Team has offered to visit one of Birkenhead’s food banks to see what help and advice they might be able to offer on Housing Benefit, Council Tax and Local Welfare Assistance.

We’ll be announcing very shortly which organisations are to begin running new schemes to bring to an end child hunger, starting in the Easter Holidays, with the help of Your Wirral funding.

We’ve also had some recent successes in encouraging more firms to pay a Living Wage, and the energy companies are beginning to act on the proposals our cross-party inquiry put to them to ease the pressure on household budgets.

I hope to report further progress soon.

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