Bishop of Liverpool calls on churches to sign petition enshrining ‘Right to Food’ in UK Law

Bishop of Liverpool the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, at the foodbank at St Andrew’s Church Clubmoor
The Right Reverend Paul Bayes’ is the most recent city region leader to support the 'Right to Food' campaign. Credit: Diocese of Liverpool

The Bishop of Liverpool is urging churches and Christians across Liverpool to sign a petition to include ‘Right to Food’ in UK Law.

The Right Reverend Paul Bayes’ is the most recent city region leader to support the campaign after councillors voted for the ‘Right to Food’ to be included in the Government’s national food strategy and in law. 

Bishop Paul is urging Christians across the region to speak up, hold governments to account and call on decision makers to take proactive steps in preventing the harsh realities of poverty being witnessed at foodbanks.

Bishop Paul said: “Through this campaign we are calling on the Government to embed the Right to Food into law, building a system of legal safeguards which can protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

"Sadly, this vision is not yet a reality. In 2021, churches, alongside hundreds of community groups and voluntary organisations, continue to ‘stand in the gap’, offering vital support to prevent households being pulled further into poverty."


The right to food is a human right based on the view that everybody should have consistent, permanent and unlimited access to food on the following basis:

  • That there is sufficient food available

  • That people have the ability to access food (also known as ‘food security’)

  • The food adequately meets the person’s dietary requirements.

The right to food protects a person’s right to be free from hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. 

Other organisations supporting the campaign include the leaders of the Diocese of Liverpool’s social justice charity Together Liverpool, food alliance Feeding Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral’s emergency food aid charity Micah Liverpool.

Collectively, the three organisations have played an important role throughout the pandemic by supplying over 30,000 food parcels to local people living in poverty. 

Throughout the pandemic, churches across the North West have continued to offer food, clothes and shelter to those in need.

The bishop urged churches and Christians to “take a proactive step towards preventing the stark realities we are seeing and hearing in our foodbanks, night shelters, afterschool clubs, parent and toddler groups, coffee mornings, and communities today.”

Bishop Paul has long been an advocate of efforts to combat food insecurity. Credit: Diocese of Liverpool

The campaign was first led by Fans Supporting Foodbanks (FSF), a Liverpool-based national grassroots football fan network and was backed in Parliament by co-founder of FSF and Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne. 

In December, Mr Byrne brought forward an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament on Food Insecurity and has secured the support of more than fifty MPs so far. 

Mr Byrne said: “Liverpool can be a catalyst for the systemic changes we need to tackle the evils of food poverty so we are delighted to receive the support from the Bishop, Together Liverpool and Micah Liverpool in our campaign to put the Right to Food into legislation for all.”

You can sign the petition here.