Big rise in UK food poverty sees 20m meals given out in last year, says charities
Food banks and food aid charities gave more than 20 million meals last year to people in the UK who could not afford to feed themselves – a 54 per cent increase on the previous 12 months, according to a report published by Oxfam, Church Action on Poverty and The Trussell Trust.
Below the Breadline warns that there has been a rise in people turning to food banks in affluent areas.
Cheltenham, Welwyn Garden City and North Lakes have seen numbers of users double and in some cases treble.
The massive rise in meals handed out by food banks and food aid charities is a damning indictment of an increasingly unequal Britain where five families have the same wealth as the poorest 20 per cent of the population.
The report details how a perfect storm of changes to the social security system, benefit sanctions, low and stagnant wages, insecure and zero-hours contracts and rising food and energy prices are all contributing to the increasing numbers of meals handed out by food banks and other charities.
Food prices have increased by 43.5 per cent in the past 8 years.