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Say NO to Food Poverty

End Food Poverty

The Conservative administration at NELC used their own amendment to "continue" as they are, in order to vote down a Lib Dem notice of motion that would have prioritised supporting local food companies to help boost our local economy, while looking to end food poverty across North East Lincolnshire.


If approved, the notice of motion that was proposed by Cllr Nicola Aisthopre and seconded by Cllr Lynsey McLean, would have committed the Council to create a 'Food Poverty Action Plan' to investigate the extent of food poverty in our local area, along with what more can be done to tackle it, working with local partners. It also included adopting a 'Local Food Strategy' to work with food companies and organisations across the borough to communicate a joint strategic approach to local food throughout the area.

Click here to read the full notice of motion as laid out. 


As a result of the Conservative's amendment to the motion, it would appear that nothing will change at speed, which is rather typical of this administration. 


Liberal Democrats remain committed to tackle food poverty and to support our local food industry in order to once again become "Europe's Food Town".


Below is the full speech given by Cllr Nicola Aisthorpe at Full Council:-

"Mr Mayor, every single person in our community should have the right to freedom from hunger and malnutrition. 


Not a single person should be left hungry, but with soaring energy bills, higher food prices and wages falling behind inflation, many people in our borough are struggling to afford basic food supplies and are being forced to use food banks. 


It is completely unacceptable that anyone, in this day and age, is forced to turn to a food bank.


And yet, some of you might well have seen the Grimsby Telegraph headline some days ago. It read ‘Fully stocked food bank wiped out in two hours’ – which so happened to be a foodbank in my ward East Marsh. 


The founder of the food bank is quoted as seeing long queues outside the premises before they even opened and having 305 people coming through the doors in less than three hours, wiping out all their stock.


She stated ‘To see this amount of people coming to us for help is sole destroying and heart breaking. There are still people who aren’t eating anything all day because they just can’t afford to’


Mr Mayor, is it not also a sad fact that we are currently living in a time where food poverty and food waste exist at the same time?


By looking at these two issues in tandem, however, there is an enormous potential to effect change.


But we acknowledge that it takes more than food to end hunger.


Mr Mayor, that is why we are calling for a strategic Food Poverty Action Plan. 


We are all aware of struggles within in our own wards and are no doubt helping such residents as best we are able. 


I am also well aware that Council Officers have been particularly good at assisting residents wherever possible, and I must compliment them on their efforts. 


But unfortunately, with all that we are currently doing, and I am sure a member of the administration will inform us on some of the Council’s actions, the problem however, is still clearly increasing.


The situation therefore needs evaluating, working with local partners to draft a plan for immediate action, including aims and plans for the future, which may also help to highlight opportunities or solutions that have not yet been considered. 


Mr Mayor, a few years ago we called ourselves ‘Europe's Food Town’. 


Whether this is now appropriate, is debatable. What surely is not debatable, is that unlike many other towns and cities, we do not have an up to date ‘Local Food Strategy’ to support urban farming and our numerous food manufactures across the borough.


Surely with our history, this is also an error that needs urgent attention. We should in my view, correct that situation forthwith, which could in turn help provide a richer and more stable local economy, helping towards ending food poverty. 


Mr Mayor, we know the goal to end food poverty and the need for food banks is ambitious, but by working together across our community with suitable plans in place to effect change, we believe it is achievable".

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