A CAMPAIGN to eradicate food poverty in East Staffordshire has received the backing of 1,000 signatories – including community and religious groups.
Uttoxeter’s Salvation Army and Trent and Dove Methodist Circuit have endorsed the End Hunger Fast initiative.
The revelation came as furious campaigners urged Prime Minister David Cameron to halt welfare reforms after a million food parcels were given to starving UK families in the last year.
Superintendent Minister of the Trent and Dove Circuit, Reverend Mike Redshaw, said he signed the petition to raise awareness of inequality in Uttoxeter.
He said: “We have a Government that’s prepared to see those who need help go and hunt for help, but that help is not being provided.
“There are an awful lot of people who are dependent on food banks to have a standard of living that many take for granted.”
The End Hunger Fast campaign says a third of those in food poverty are children, while some parents regularly skip meals.
Uttoxeter’s Salvation Army said emergency food handouts rose by 118 per cent since March 2013, with 109 parcels delivered to 244 people in March – including 100 children.
Proponents of End Hunger Fast claim food poverty has no place in Britain, which is the sixth-largest economy in the world.
Jon Wheale, who will stand for Labour in Uttoxeter at next year’s General Election, said: “The massive support in Uttoxeter shows people share our belief that this outrageous situation has no place in this country.
“Morality alone dictates that this cannot be allowed to continue.”
Uttoxeter’s Conservative MP, Andrew Griffiths, said: “It’s very sad there’s been an increase in families needing to use food banks and it’s essential the government does more to help them.
“However, this week’s news of further falls in unemployment and record number in work and evidence salaries are now increasing faster than the cost of living is encouraging.
“The best way to help those using food banks is to create jobs and get people back into work and this government’s proving successful at that, having created 1.3 million jobs already.
“And millions of people are now paying no tax thanks to government measures.”