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5 January, 2021 Open access

To help limit further transmission of COVID-19, the government must prioritise a ‘cash first’ approach to food insecurity rather than relying on food aid

Independent Food Aid Network calls for ring-fenced funding for local authorities across the UK to enable them to provide cash grants

The government must prioritise a 'cash first' approach to food insecurity, as opposed to relying on food aid, in order to limit further transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) has said.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, IFAN highlights that the new highly contagious strain of COVID-19 is putting food bank staff, volunteers and the people they support at increased risk of infection, and warns - 

'The distribution of emergency food parcels cannot address worsening poverty and, in the context of escalating infection rates, their provision could well contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the UK population.'

Pointing out that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure people are able to afford to buy food for themselves and their families - and not food aid charities - IFAN calls for a 'cash first' approach including - 

For more information see the Urgent request to reduce need for emergency food aid as new Covid-19 variant increases risks.