About Right To Food London
There are record numbers of people living in poverty after years of austerity cuts, stagnating incomes and welfare reform. Many of the worst affected are in London, due to high housing costs, insecure work and low pay and an unstable welfare system. In 2019 the Greater London Authority (GLA) reported that nearly two million Londoners struggled to afford or access enough food. In 2023 things are only getting worse.
Foodbanks, charities, faith groups and other community groups have responded to the resulting food insecurity in the place of state-based interventions. This has led to increased formalisation of charity food provision and its facilitation and coordination at a national level. Charitable food aid is being institutionalised.
We believe this is not only ethically wrong, but it is also unsustainable.
In October 2022, IFAN, the Trussell Trust and Feeding Britain wrote to the Prime Minister calling for the end for the need for their services saying “We are overstretched and exhausted. Many of our organisations are at breaking point.”
Right To Food London is a grassroots movement including tenants, foodbank volunteers, community organisers, trade unionists, food educators and local councillors.
We were set up in 2021 as a vehicle for pushing local councils and the GLA to lobby government on Ian Byrne MP's Right To Food campaign demands. As we have grown we have expanded upon this, with a broader vision of how the Right To Food needs to look in practical terms for London and how it intersects with all other challenges to the power structures that maintain systems of oppression.
We want to see Cash First solutions prioritised and food sovereignty embedded. We want access to public infrastructure including buildings eg: school kitchens, for community food projects and land suitable for community growing. We want the GLA to listen to people on the ground and then demonstrate the Right to Food in practice not just as lip service.
"The right to food is a human right. It protects the right of all human beings to live in dignity, free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. The right to food is not about charity, but about ensuring that all people have the capacity to feed themselves in dignity."
Jean Ziegler (The 1st Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food)
We are currently building a Pan London Strategy linked with the wider food justice and anti-poverty networks to enable community equity in the expansion of our movement. Our primary campaigns for 2023 are:
Universal Free School Meals for all in nursery, primary & secondary and further education.
Cash First solutions to food insecurity, including real living incomes for all.
#HungerIsAPoliticalChoice #CashFirst #FoodSovereignty
If you would like to join our movement and get involved with local campaigning, please send us an email and we will get you connected!
We really want to hear from people impacted by food insecurity, marginalised groups and small-scale people led initiatives happening in London, so we can make sure your voices are amplified in our Pan London Strategy.
We are growing our network of grassroots London Borough Right To Food groups, so if you are interested in setting up a group in your borough or want to link up with an exisiting group, please do get in touch!
The Right to Food Movement
The Right To Food movement has been in existence for decades and spans the globe.
The United Nations declared that "the right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement."
The UK committed to this vision of the right to food by ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but has yet to enshrine the right to food into UK law.
Right To Food London sits within the global movement calling for human rights, justice and dignity for all.
In the UK the broad network of foodbanks, charitable food aid providers, NGOs, grassroots community groups and politicians are campaigning for the human right to food.