Today I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on the rising cost of food. It is an issue that is putting a strain on many people’s budgets.
In Plymouth this Christmas, there are more people experiencing food poverty than ever. When I visited Plymouth Foodbank recently, they told me that this Christmas was going to be exceptionally hard for them. Even before the Christmas rush, they already served 12 thousand extra meals between August and November this year compared with that time last year. Those figures should shame this government.

There are many factors contributing to the rise in food prices, including a global increase in demand for certain crops, changes in the weather, the war in Ukraine and the impact of Brexit on trade. It’s a complex issue, but 12 years of Tory Government has left us in a position where there are now more food banks in this country than branches of McDonalds – and each is receiving more and more demand.

Each of those food banks exists because of the hard work and generosity of the communities around them. But let’s be clear: none of them should exist. We should not live in a country where people have to rely on charity to survive.

This is a reboot of Dickensian Britain and it’s utterly sickening.

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