McLaughlins deems food poverty report ‘shocking’ and calls for immediate action

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Cathal McLaughlin has described a recent report into the ‘prevalence and people’s experience of food poverty in the Causeway Coast and Glens Catchment Area’ as ‘shocking’ and calls for immediate action to address the very serious issues highlighted in the report.

Cllr McLaughlin said,

“I have recently studied the report on food poverty that investigated the prevalence and people’s experience of food poverty in the Causeway Coast and Glens Catchment area, focusing particularly on the Dunloy, Rasharkin, Cloughmills and Ballycastle figures which include the area that I represent and the figures are shocking.”

“It reported that 32.5% of respondents reported not being able to comfortably feed their family 3 meals a day, 50% of respondents reported some level of difficulty affording a variety of nutritionally balances meals, 52.2% of respondents reported having some level of difficulty accessing a variety of nutritionally balanced meals and 15.2% of respondents reported having at least one day in the last fortnight when they did not have a substantial meal for reasons of affordability. As we move into 2017 these figures are totally unacceptable.”

“The report also went on to show that there was considerable support for interventions such as cookery demonstrations, healthy eating seminars, budgeting seminars etc with 68% of respondents from the Dunloy, Rasharkin, Cloughmills and Ballycastle areas supporting benefiting from such interventions.”

“I call on the Council to urgently put together an evidence based Food Poverty Strategy to address these serious issues including interventions that would benefit those facing food poverty and will be working with the wider Sinn Féin team including those who sit on the Environmental Services Committee responsible for this issue to see this implemented as soon as possible.”1

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