Henry Dimbleby’s national food strategy will do little for the millions who go hungry
The headlines were compelling. The Covid-19 crisis would lead to a dramatic increase in poverty and hunger; free school meals should be extended to a further 1.6 million children; another 1.1 million children in England should become eligible for holiday food programmes. The National Food Strategy document released last Wednesday was, on the face of it, an impressive opening shot from the team led by businessman Henry Dimbleby.
But for all the laudable anger over hunger contained in this first report from the National Food Strategy, it was received across the world of food production and policy with at best eye-rolling and at worst exasperation. It is the product of grubby politics, includes worrying proposals on post-Brexit trade policy, muddled thinking on the causes of poverty and risks wasting a golden opportunity to answer one of the most important challenges of the 21st century: how we feed ourselves.