Ministers should consider enshrining in law a right to food and must appoint a new minister for food security, according to an influential committee of MPs, after the coronavirus pandemic exposed serious problems with the government’s handling of the food system in a crisis.
A second wave of Covid-19 could sharply increase the number of people at risk of food shortages and hunger, which already stands at 6.6 million, including 1.7 million children, the report by the environment, food and rural affairs select committee found.
Panic buying – which was often just consumers responding to the need to eat all meals at home – and shortages of some staples in the shops, characterised the start of the Covid-19 crisis after the government failed to communicate properly with the public and the food industry, the MPs on the environment, food and rural affairs committee found in a new report.
The government “appeared unprepared” for the impact of the closure of restaurants and cafes, they said, and was too slow to provide guidance for workers in the food supply sector.
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People with coronavirus symptoms may be asked to isolate for 10 days
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