More work needs to be done to cut down on food poverty in Dorset

food parcelBy Local Democracy Reporter Trevor Bevins

MORE work may need to be done to help residents out of food poverty, a council committee has been told.

Even before the pandemic, almost 96,000 people across the whole county were estimated not to be able to afford to have a healthy diet, with 5,500 living in food poverty.

Weymouth councillor Gill Taylor said she fears that with proposed cuts to Universal Credit and a predicted increase in unemployment in the coming months more people are likely to find themselves going hungry.

She told the Dorset Council People and Health Scrutiny Committee, which she chairs, that although take up of support from foodbanks and volunteer groups had been good during the pandemic, there was always people who were reluctant to ask for help and those numbers were likely to increase.

The meeting heard that plans are being discussed to set up community fridges and social supermarkets across the county but so far none have been set up in rural Dorset.

The committee heard that more work was needed in Dorset to improve food security with a food link worker from the Citizens Advice Bureau already supporting local supply groups and to look at future support needs across the county.

If you are having difficulties in affording food during the coronavirus pandemic, information on support available can be found at 

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