Excess army rations should be given to homeless, MP urges

Work and Pensions Select Committee chairman Frank Field has called for surplus army food packs to be used to feed the UK's homeless population, after figures showed 12,275 operational ration packs (ORP) had been disposed of between April and December.

Data revealed that during the whole of the 2015/16 financial year 10,798 ORPs were disposed of, and 5,004 in the year before that.

According to the labour MP, the issue had been repeatedly raised by food banks, because of problems associated with catering for people do not have the facilities to cook or store food.

"The number is going up and they're only destroying it. I just hope someone will look into it. Let's move it from one army to the army of the homeless.

"These supplies are designed for people, in a sense, to eat on the run, and people in doorways are in a similar position.

"They're ideally constructed for when people haven't got much."

An spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: "Our stocks of ORPs are managed to make sure they are consumed within the two-year shelf life required to meet our food quality standards.

"We only undertake disposal of ORP as a last resort and only at a point when the product can no longer be consumed.

"Due to the changing nature of exercises or deployments, there will of course be occasions when ORP has not been issued before it becomes out of date."

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