Garry Lemon, Director of Policy and Research at the Trussell Trust, said:
“Today sees the launch of the National Food Strategy, a government-commissioned independent review into the food system. As the report recommends, it’s right the government should consider widening access to vital support, such as ensuring children of migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds – meaning they cannot receive support from the social security system – can continue to receive free school meals.
“But as this review makes clear, the goal should be for everyone to have enough money in their pockets to afford decent food. To do this at the very least we need to make sure our social security system allows everyone to have enough money for the essentials. The government must start by not cutting Universal Credit by £20 a week this October.
“Millions of people could be forced to turn to food banks if the cut goes ahead in autumn. This will be a devastating blow for millions of households already struggling to make ends meet. The publication of the National Food Strategy comes on the same day that the Prime Minister has set out his vision to ‘level up’ the UK. But going ahead with the planned cut to Universal Credit would level down those on the lowest incomes.
“It would be wrong of the government to take away money from already precarious incomes and push even more people through the doors of food banks. That’s why we’re saying this October, the government must choose to protect people and choose to keep this lifeline.”