Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard has taken aim at the government’s poverty record while visiting a Co-op community project.
He made the comments at his local community fridge in Stonehouse, Plymouth, one of the 150 set up by food charity Hubbub and supported by the Co-op.
The fridges provide 5684 meals per month on average.
Pollard thanked the Co-op for donating food but said he hoped “one day” to end the project “because people in our city are no longer going hungry”.
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“With more families in Plymouth struggling to afford food, this initiative will really help,” he continued.
“Britain is a rich country and it should shame us all that in the 21st century there are so many people in need.
“As the local MP, I will continue to call out rising poverty and press Ministers to act.”
Over the coming year, the Co-op will help install another 100 fridges, apparently saving an extra 6.8 million meals from landfill every year.
“As a co-operative, we have a responsibility to work with others to make a genuine difference,” Co-op community director Rebecca Birkbeck said.
“It’s great that Luke has had the opportunity to see first-hand how the Stonehouse community fridge is empowering people in Plymouth.”
Food poverty has become a high-profile issue, with footballer Marcus Rashford successfully campaigning against government plans to cut free school meal vouchers last summer.
In an open letter, he asked MPs to “make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority”.
A Co-op community fridge was installed in Rashford’s hometown of Wythenshawe two months ago.