HALTON MP Derek Twigg has urged the government to turn its 'warm words into funding' over the cost of living crisis, after it was revealed more than 30,000 meals were distributed to borough residents in need last year.

Figures published by FareShare - the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste - revealed that between April 2021 and March 2022, it redistributed the equivalent of 32,400 meals in Halton via seven local charities.

FareShare takes delivery of surplus good to eat food, which is unsold or unwanted by the food industry, sorts it in one of its regional warehouses, and distributes it through a network of thousands of charities and community groups, or via its app called FareShare Go.

FareShare previously took part in a trial project run by Defra, which enabled farmers and producers to get their unsold food to charities, via FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose scheme. Despite George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Defra, saying that the government supports FareShare repeatedly at the dispatch box over recent months, the funding has not yet materialised. 

Mr Twigg has pledged his backing to the charity and called on the government to provide the funding.

He said: "It’s time that the government’s warm words were translated into funding. With so many struggling to cope, funding food redistribution and stopping needless food waste is a no brainer. £5 million in annual funding would allow FareShare to redistribute an additional 53 million meals across the UK."

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare’s CEO, said "More than two million tonnes of good-to-eat food goes to waste on our farms and in our factories every year. Meanwhile, millions of people are experiencing food insecurity, with more and more people in Halton being affected by the cost of living crisis."

"At a time of so much need, it is wrong that there is so much waste. That’s why we started our #FoodOnPlates campaign, and I’m incredibly grateful for Derek Twigg for his support in Parliament.”

Mr Twigg added: "It’s important that funding gets to the farms sooner rather than later, to enable them to help people affected by the cost of living crisis with surplus food from the current growing season and harvest."

"The government needs to act right now."