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Is the Government doing enough to tackle food insecurity? Lords to hear evidence

The House of Lords Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Committee will continue taking evidence for its inquiry on Tuesday 5th November. It will ask representatives from government departments to explain what actions they are taking to ensure a healthy, sustainable diet can be made accessible for everyone.

The committee will address how Government is working to effect changes in the food environment and ask whether local authorities are sufficiently equipped to fulfil their public health responsibilities. The Committee will also examine whether enough is being done to ensure children can access healthy food in schools and ask whether guidance on healthy food is sufficiently embedded into welfare policy.

The evidence session will begin at 10:30am and the Committee will question:

  • Jenny Oldroyd, Deputy Director, Obesity, Food and Nutrition, Department for Health and Social Care
  • Julia Gault, Deputy Director, Labour Market, Families & Disadvantage, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Sarah Lewis, Director, System Leadership and Strategy (Early years and schools), Department for Education
  • Alison Ismail, Acting Director for Agri-Food Chain Directorate, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Questions the Committee are likely to ask include:

  • What assessment has been made of the key causes of food insecurity, and what work is being done to reduce the number of people who cannot access the food they need?
  • We have heard concerns that not only are there a significant number of children coming to school hungry and that many are experiencing ‘holiday hunger', but that this number is actually increasing—what are the key drivers behind this and what is the Government doing to address this?
  • What assessment has been made of programmes such as the Soft Drinks Industry Levy or the Salt Reduction Programme which encourage industry to reformulate products in healthier ways?
  • What are the most significant challenges associated with improving the environmental sustainability of our food production systems?

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