Church to unveil research into food poverty

Herald Series: Alison Webster Alison Webster

THE Diocese of Oxford has warned “unjust” government policies are pushing people in Oxfordshire into food poverty.

A report by the Trussell Trust this week revealed more than 1,800 county children had received its food parcels in the past year.

Diocese social responsibility adviser Alison Webster said the report gave only a partial picture.

She said: “Evidence emerging from various pieces of research suggests falling benefit levels, low wages, reforms to housing policy, the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions and suspensions, and debt problems, are having a catastrophic effect on children and families in the UK.

“In the Diocese of Oxford only about a quarter of emergency food activity is linked to the Trussell Trust.

“Churches are at the forefront of feeding hungry people, but also of campaigns to combat the unjust policies that are pushing people into destitution and extreme vulnerability.”

Ms Webster, who manages the Diocese’s network of volunteers, has written her own report, 999 Food, on emergency food aid in Oxfordshire and will launch it with the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, next Wednesday.

It details what the Diocese is doing to combat food poverty across seven projects and attempts to answer why more people are turning to foodbanks.

To attend the launch event, call 01865 208213 and register before tomorrow.

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