The UK is facing its “worst food crisis in a very long time” with rising prices leaving “families on the lowest incomes with nowhere to go”, an expert has warned.
Anna Taylor, CEO of the Food Foundation, told the UK Trade and Business Commission on Thursday that the number of people going hungry is the highest it has ever been since the charity started recording food insecurity 10 years ago.
Between January and April of this year, the Food Foundation recorded a 57 per cent increase in people going hungry. In April, 7.3 million adults and 2.6 million children said they had gone without food or could not physically get it that month.
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Taylor said: “We’re extremely concerned by the speed of that deterioration but also what this means for families going forward and the knock-on impacts on their health and wellbeing and, of course, the health and wellbeing of their children.
“It’s important to remember that children are growing and their bodies need nutrients at particular points to reach their full potential, whether that’s their physical growth or their brain development.”
Taylor said there has been a huge spike in childhood obesity coming out of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis brings a range of health concerns. People living in poverty are more likely to opt for the cheapest food over the healthiest, studies have found.