Parents skipping meals so children don't go hungry as families struggle with longest cost of living squeeze in 60 years
One in ten families are skipping meals or relying on charity and hand-outs
Mothers are putting their health at risk by eating only every other day
Food banks now forced to ration the donations they give to hungry families
By Sean Poulter
PUBLISHED: 20:16 EST, 21 November 2012 | UPDATED: 02:38 EST, 22 November 2012
Hunger is becoming a reality for one in ten families who are skipping meals or relying on charity and hand-outs, a study said yesterday. In some cases, mothers are putting their health at risk by eating only every other day to make sure their children do not go hungry. Some nine per cent of people have sometimes skipped meals, gone without to feed their children or relied on friends, family or charity for food in the past 12 months, according to a study backed by Tesco.
Desperate measures: One in ten parents are skipping meals so their children don't go hungry as more and more families struggle to cope with the rising cost of living (stock image)
Food banks across the country are being swamped with requests for help as families struggle with the longest cost-of-living squeeze in more than 60 years. Some have been forced to ration the donations they give to hungry families – an image somewhat at odds with Britain’s rank as the fifth richest nation in the world. Tesco, which takes about £1 of every £3 spent on groceries in the UK, is launching the biggest ever food collection appeal in the UK in partnership with the Trussell Trust, which runs food banks, and FareShare, which provides food and meals to those in need.
Help Feed People In Need will take place in more than 800 Tesco stores nationwide on December 1 and 2. Shoppers will be asked to donate canned and packaged food. Tesco will increase the total amount donated by 30 per cent and distribute the donations in its trucks to food banks. Chris Mould, executive chairman of the Trussell Trust, said: ‘Our food banks are seeing thousands more people in crisis turn to us for help.
'Every day we meet parents who are skipping meals to feed their children, or people who are forced to choose between eating and heating. ‘This winter is looking particularly bleak as food and energy prices rise whilst incomes remain static.
‘We’d like to encourage everyone to give a can or two to help make this Christmas a happier one for people in crisis.’ Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said: ‘This Christmas, we want to use our scale and our links with communities across the country to help tackle this growing problem.’