Hunger in UK is getting worse

22nd October 2013

The number of people relying on food banks to survive has tripled over the last year, according to figures released last week.

The Trussell Trust, which runs 400 food banks across the UK, says it handed out supplies to more than 350,000 people between April and September this year.

A third of those being helped were children, and the Trust says the problem is so severe that some people using food banks have started to hand back items that need cooking, as they cannot afford to use the energy.

The problem of hunger in the UK is, sadly and scandalously, getting worse. Rising living costs and stagnant wages are forcing more people to live on what the Trussell Trust calls a “financial knife edge”. It also forecasts that following all the recent energy price rises of recent weeks, this winter is likely to see more people “choosing between heating and eating.”

Now this blog isn’t the place to go into detail as to the reasons why this is happening – our concern is that it is, and what we can do about it.

Here at the mayor’s Fund for London, we are concerned by food poverty because we exist to help London’s disadvantaged young people out of poverty; the best way out of poverty is a decent job, and the better your education, the better chance you have of getting a good job. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that kids who haven’t had a good breakfast, or who aren’t eating properly, will find it more difficult to learn.

This is why we teamed up with Magic Breakfast and Magic FM to deliver free, healthy breakfasts to 5,000 primary school children in 50 of the most disadvantaged schools in London.  A good start to the day improves kids’ attendance, punctuality, concentration and behaviour. It’s our aim to establish self-sustaining breakfast clubs that promote healthy eating and nutritional education across the community.

We’re getting there but more support is always needed – if anyone would like to help build on brilliant initiatives like London’s Biggest Breakfast, please get in touch!

More on the food banks story here.