‘Food banks should not be part of welfare state’ says MP

Central Mosque Blackpool donate food to Blackpool Food Bank.  Neil Reid from Blackpool Food Bank and Imam Ashfaq Patel.
Central Mosque Blackpool donate food to Blackpool Food Bank. Neil Reid from Blackpool Food Bank and Imam Ashfaq Patel.
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A resort MP has called for the Government not to make food banks part of the welfare state.

Paul Maynard, who represents Blackpool North and Cleveleys in Parliament, made the comments at a food poverty summit held at the Manchester food and drink festival.

Mr Maynard says the Government should instead focus on other ways to get people out of food poverty - such as making sure supermarkets stock misshapen fruit and vegetables at cheaper prices and teaching children to cook properly at school.

Mr Maynard told the summit: “I value personal responsibility.

“My main concern for the immediate future is that people have the most money in their pockets as possible.

“I do not believe that immediate food relief should be the role of the Government.

“We can’t make food banks part of the welfare state.

“What I don’t want to do is normalise food poverty.”

Speaking to The Gazette, Mr Maynard added: “First and foremost I recognise the real and important role for community food banks, including in Blackpool.

“The point I was making was there is a division of opinion about the extent to which the Government should be running food banks.

“There are whole issues we can work on to make sure people aren’t in food poverty, but depending on short-term relief doesn’t tackle the long-term problem.”