Letter: Food poverty is a big issue in Northamptonshire

Members get to buy pre-packed boxes of food that Hope bosses have packed - to help supplement their diet.
Members get to buy pre-packed boxes of food that Hope bosses have packed - to help supplement their diet.

Northamptonshire is not a county we associate with starvation or with a hunger crisis in the UK.

But the reality is that 26.9 per cent of employee jobs in Northamptonshire were below the Living Wage in 2014, and there are currently more than 21,700 children living in poverty in our county. In 2017-18, more than 19,400 three-day emergency food parcels were provided for county families by the Trussell Trust, but there are only 20 independent food banks throughout Northamptonshire – of which more than 50 per cent are in Northampton itself.

Northamptonshire Community Foundation and the Northamptonshire Food Poverty Network are staging the Behind Closed Doors exhibition in partnership with the Royal and Derngate Theatre and End Hunger UK at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton until October 12.

It highlights Britain’s food insecurity crisis – and also Emma Lewell-Buck MP’s cross-party Food Insecurity Bill, which sadly at present none of our county MPs appear to be supporting.

The exhibition is well worth a visit – and is a stark reminder that from 2014 to 2016, 4.2 million people in the UK experienced severe household food insecurity, according to United Nations figires.

This is more than the populations of Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester combined.

Jimmy James

Stanwick