The authorities has reassured people who there “isn’t a shortage of food” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Environment Secretary George Eustice informed MPs within the Commons that there’s “significant resilience in our food supply chain” amid public concern over COVID-19, the illness attributable to the coronavirus.

He stated: “There isn’t a shortage of food, the challenge that we’ve had is getting food to shelves in time when people have been purchasing more.”

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Supermarkets have stepped up their efforts to stop panic buying in latest days, proscribing purchases throughout a variety of merchandise.

Stores have moved to reassure people who sufficient inventory is being delivered each night time, urging consumers to buy items as they usually would.

But lengthy queues have been reported up and down the nation, with many individuals turning up earlier than supermarkets even open.

There have additionally been studies of individuals pushing two trolleys round outlets.

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Facing questions from MPs on Thursday, Mr Eustice outlined the steps the federal government is taking to assist deliveries attain shops.

He stated one factor ministers are taking a look at is altering competitors legislation to permit retailers and haulage firms to work collectively.

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“We have taken steps including setting aside delivery curfews so that lorries can run around the clock, relaxing driver hours to ensure the deliveries can take place more frequently, and we are in discussions with other government colleagues in MHCLG [the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government] around other support that we would deliver locally to get food to those who are self-isolating.”

Labour’s shadow setting secretary Luke Pollard stated tens of millions have been “already in food poverty”, including: “This is now an immediate family emergency for many of those.”

He requested: “With food banks running low on food, many volunteers of food banks over the age of 70 and soon needing to self-isolate, what steps is he taking to assist those in genuine hunger today?”

The setting secretary replied: “I’ve been in regular, daily calls with the food supply sector that included discussions around food banks and we are in dialogue with supermarkets to ensure we can make sure they get access to the supplies that they need.”

Queues at supermarkets stretch through aisles
Supermarket queues stretch by way of aisles

Mr Eustice added that the federal government was engaged on “specific proposals” to assist the “most vulnerable”.

Mr Pollard referred to as on the federal government to guarantee that “every supermarket, not just the Co-Op, are still contributing to food banks”.

He stated: “We won’t get through this crisis unless there’s government intervention to support those people and ensure that we have those food supply chains remaining open.”

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Mr Eustice replied: “We must take action to set aside any obstacles to making the food supply chain operate in a way that will ensure people have food.

“On the difficulty of food banks, as I stated, we’re in discussions with supermarkets about this. We have additionally had discussions with them round competitors legislation and can take no matter motion is critical to make sure they’ll collectively plan their method to the issues.

“For the most vulnerable, we are working on proposals which my colleagues in the MHCLG will be announcing shortly.”