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de Brún welcomes new initiative to combat food poverty and promote access to healthy and affordable food

3 April, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today thrown her support behind a new initiative to combat food poverty and promote access to healthy and affordable food for low-income groups in Ireland.

Organisations Crosscare, Combat Poverty Agency and Society of St. Vincent de Paul are in the process of establishing a 'Healthy Food for All Initiative' (HFFA). The initiative aims to promote access to healthy and affordable food for low-income groups, including the provision of school meals.

Speaking today the former Assembly Health Minister said:

"I want to welcome the establishment of the 'Healthy Food for All Initiative'. Access to food is a fundamental right, and just as important is the ability to access healthy and nutritious food. I am particularly pleased that this initiative to tackle food poverty will be conducted on an all Ireland basis and I would urge all of the relevant agencies to support this project in the promotion of healthy living and tackling health inequalities.

"The publication of a report 'Food Poverty and Policy' (2004) revealed that the issue of food poverty is of serious concern to health experts in Ireland. It has been known for quite some time that there is a correlation between inequalities in dietary habits and social disadvantage. It stands to reason that poor dietary habits will lead to poor health in the longer term. Food poverty also impacts on educational achievement and therefore on the ability to break the cycle of disadvantage. It is a major issue for low income families.

Ms de Brún also welcomed European Parliament support for a call she and other MEPs had made for charities across Europe to be able to continue food aid for the most deprived and vulnerable." ENDS

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