Millions Of People In Britain Are Skipping Meals Due To The Cost Of Living Crisis | TOTUM
Holly BarrowMay 8th
2022

Millions of Brits have shared the devastating impacts that the cost of living crisis is having on their day to day lives, with around 2.4 million revealing they've gone a whole day without eating due to being unable to afford or access food.

A Food Foundation survey found that approximately 7.3 million adults live in households that skipped meals in April.

The same survey carried out in January found that  4.7 million adults were in this situation, meaning there has been a 57% jump in the number of households experiencing food insecurity in just three months.

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The online survey asked 10,674 adults in the UK to answer the following: "Did you/anyone else in your household:

  1. Have smaller meals than usual or skip meals because you couldn't afford or get access to food?

  2. Ever been hungry but not eaten because you couldn't afford or get access to food?

  3. Not eaten for a whole day because you couldn't afford or get access to food?

Participants who answered 'yes' to any of the three questions are classed as food insecure.

They were also asked whether they had experienced any of these scenarios in the last month and in the last six months. The survey found that household food insecurity levels have increased by 60% since the first six months of the pandemic, with 13.8% of households experiencing food insecurity in the past month - including 2.6 million children.

People with disabilities are among those disproportionately affected by food insecurity, as well as non-white ethnic groups who are at higher risk of food insecurity than white ethnic groups.

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The Food Foundation also reported that food banks are seeing a sharp rise in the number of people requesting products that do not need to be cooked as the cost of living crisis sees many families unable to afford energy bills.  Anna Taylor, the organisation’s executive director, said: “The extremely rapid rise in food insecurity since January points to a catastrophic situation for families. “Food insecurity puts families under extreme mental stress and forces people to survive on the cheapest calories which lead to health problems.

“The situation is rapidly turning from an economic crisis to a health crisis. Food banks cannot possibly be expected to solve this.

“The government needs to realise the boat is sinking for many families and it needs to be fixed. Bailing out with emergency food parcels is not going to work.”

Professor Sir Michael Marmot said: “Food is basic, but so is security. Both are vital to good health.

“If one household in seven is food insecure, society is failing in a fundamental way. These figures on food insecurity are all the more chilling because the problem is soluble, but far from being solved it is getting worse.” The Food Foundation is calling on the government to take urgent action to prevent further escalation of the cost of living crisis by increasing benefit levels in line with inflation and expanding access to Free School Meals and the Healthy Start programme. 

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