MP calls for Army food waste to go to needy

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Birkenhead MP Frank Field. Pic © Frank Field Twitter

The Ministry of Defence could be feeding excess Army food supplies to the homeless, according a local MP who is backing the idea.

More than 12,000 operational ration packs (ORPs) were thrown away between April and December 2016, which is more than in the previous 12 months.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field wants these surplus packs used to feed the UK’s homeless population, telling JMU Journalism: “It would help to address the immediate problem of destitute homeless people being hungry.”

Mr Field submitted a written Parliamentary question to Defence Minister, Harriett Baldwin, who in response said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) threw away 12,275 ORPs between April and December.

During the whole of the 2015/16 financial year, 10,798 ORPs were disposed of, and 5,004 in the year before that.

With Merseyside’s homeless problem growing in recent years, coupled with rising numbers of people needing the help of food banks, Labour MP Field would like to see the army surplus packs go to those in need.

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Mr Field told JMU Journalism: “The food doesn’t require any cooking or preparation and can be eaten straight from the packet.

“In the longer term, of course, we need many more homes to be built to provide shelter and warmth for those who are currently having to sleep in doorways, for example, and the many others who do not have their own roof over their heads.

“But this first move, which I’m sure our voluntary organisations would be all too willing to assist, would help to counter the immediate hunger facing an army of homeless people in our country on a daily basis.

“Many of the packages become surplus because of last minute operational changes, so they are still good to eat even though they are not needed by the Army.

“I’ve asked the MoD to look into using both this excess stock, as well as that which is nearing the end of its use-by date and is unlikely to be used by the Army.”