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Joy to deliver food justice in the area

Created on 12/07/2019 @ 15:33
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Newtown anti-poverty champion Cllr Joy Jones is to start working with a range of portfolio holders and Powys County Council staff to deliver food justice in the county.

The motion on food justice was put forward by Labour group leader,  Cllr Mathew Dorrance.

He wanted to see the county council: 

Establish a lead member role with responsibility for delivering food justice.
Work with community groups and partners to set up a food partnership – a non-profit organisation helping people learn to cook, eat a healthy diet, grow their own food and waste less food.
Task scrutiny to investigate the extent of the issue in Powys and what can be done to tackle it.

Cllr Dorrance, said: “Many of us will have noted the increase of food banks in the county.

“I read an article recently about a 25 per cent increase in the demand of a food bank in Montgomeryshire.

“And from looking across the county it is clear that demand for emergency food parcels is increasing.

“There’s a need for us to be able to take action.”

Cllr Tim Van Rees put forward a motion which backed Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris’ suggestion to allow the cabinet and staff to take the work forward themselves.

This was defeated, but one of Cllr Harris’ helpful suggestion had been to include anti-poverty champion Cllr Jones in the work.

Cllr Joy Jones explained: “We have seen huge rises in the amount of people accessing the foodbanks throughout Powys.

“It’s not just people that are on benefits it’s people who are hard working and really struggling these days to manage.

“Some of the good news is that there are schemes that have been set up.

“In Newtown, there is a Community Kitchen. The food comes on Wednesdays and there is a huge amount of volunteers there to make up meals of wonderful fresh food.

“We need to be able to report ideas that people come up with to try eradicating this problem.”

Cllr Dorrance, said: “Joy Jones would be brilliant.”

He added that it needed to be noted officially that Cllr Jones’ role would now also include food justice.

“This stuff is already happening in the community but it’s about bringing it together and coordinating so we don’t duplicate and getting the best out of the good will and volunteering being done,” said Cllr Dorrance.

The motion was passed by 56 votes with two abstentions.

According to the United Nations (UN) there are eight million people in the UK who have trouble putting food on the table.

 The Trussell Trust alone, distributed over 1.3 million three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis in the 2017/18 financial year.

Three million children are at risk of hunger in the school holidays.

Up to one million people live in a food desert in the UK which means; neighbourhoods where poverty, poor public transport and a lack of big supermarkets severely limit access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables.

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