EAST Lothian’s MP, Kenny MacAskill, has backed a campaign to end food waste and asked that unsold food instead be donated to charities.

The #FoodOnPlates campaign aims to stop the waste of millions of tons of fresh, unsold food, which could instead go to charities and community groups that help feed families.

The campaign is being led by FareShare, a food redistribution charity which last year redistributed the equivalent of 265,200 meals via 18 local organisations in East Lothian.

It is calling for funding that would enable the group to nearly double the amount of food it could provide.

One in eight people in the UK struggles to afford food and the pandemic has resulted in many more families facing food insecurity.

Of the UK charities providing emergency food aid, 67 per cent said they would have to continue their work even as restrictions eased.

However, more than a quarter of all the food grown in the UK is never eaten, representing more than six per cent of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr MacAskill said: “I’m backing the #FoodOnPlates campaign for funding for farmers to get their unsold fresh food to charities supporting vulnerable families, instead of having to waste it.”

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare’s CEO, said: “I’m very pleased to be working with Kenny MacAskill. Our network of frontline charities have been a lifeline for families during the pandemic and, sadly, demand remains at similar levels.

“It’s a scandal that good food is left to rot in our fields or be thrown into biogas digesters or landfill when so many families are still dependent on food aid in the wake of the crisis.

“France rescues six times more unsold food that we do in the UK, in part thanks to tax breaks that cover the additional costs of getting that food to charities.

“That’s why we’re calling on the UK Government to reinstate landmark funding to save good food and get it onto people’s plates.”