Cost of living: More than one in seven UK households ‘skipping meals’ – a 57% increase | Business News


More than one in seven UK households have cut back on food or skipped meals in the past month, a survey has found.

The number of people struggling to buy food has gone up by 57% from January to April, according to the Food Foundation.

About 7.3 million adults and 2.6 million children live in homes where people have gone without food or could not get it in the last month, the research indicated.

The figures show the impact of growing inflation, which has hit a 30-year high of 7% and left many Britons struggling to afford food and other essentials.

Benefit payments have not kept up with inflation, having gone up by 3.1% in April.

The Food Foundation also said that food bank users are increasingly asking for products that do not need cooking due to concerns about rising energy bills.

The research was based on responses from 10,674 UK adults surveyed by YouGov between 22 April and 29 April.

Almost 14% of those surveyed said they or someone in their home had eaten smaller meals or skipped meals during the past month, while 4.6% said they had not eaten for a whole day.

‘Days where only my daughter ate’

Dominic Watters, a single dad from Canterbury, said the last few months “have been really tough”.

“I’ve had days where only my daughter ate, and I’ve had her leftovers, if anything at all,” he said.

Anna Taylor, executive director of the Food Foundation, said the situation is “rapidly turning from an economic crisis to a health crisis”, adding that “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,” she added. “Bailing out with emergency food parcels is not going to work.”

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “These are devastating findings that reveal the acute levels of hunger impacting families and children nationwide caused by the Conservative cost-of-living crisis.”

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity, said the “chilling” figures show “society is failing in a fundamental way”.

“The problem is solvable,” he said. “But, far from being solved, it is getting worse.”

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A government spokesman said: “We recognise the pressures on the cost of living and we are doing what we can to help, including spending £22bn across the next financial year to support people with energy bills and cut fuel duty.

“For the hardest hit, we’re putting an average of £1,000 more per year into the pockets of working families on Universal Credit, have also boosted the minimum wage by more than £1,000 a year for full-time workers and our Household Support Fund is there to help with the cost of everyday essentials.”


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