Nearly five million Britons 'struggle to put a square meal on the table'

 

The food industry must do more to reduce the impact of high prices on the poor, the Kellogg company has said, claiming that nearly five million people in Britain are struggling to put nutritious meals on the table.

Families now spend 20 per cent more on food that they did five years ago – but are eating seven per cent less, according to a new report issued by the multi-national cereal company. The report calls on food producers to donate some of their surplus to help families living in poverty – one of the first by a major manufacturer to do so.

Job losses and benefit cuts have combined with rising food prices to create a growing food crisis in the UK. The poorest households have to spend almost a quarter (23.8 per cent) of their annual income on food, the report claims, while the richest spend only four per cent. Thousands have been forced to turn to emergency hand-outs. The Trussell Trust, which worked with Kelloggs on the study, says that more than 280,000 people were fed by their food banks in the year 2012/13.

The report classifies poverty as a situation whereby a household must spend more than 10 per cent of their income on food. 4.7 million people in the UK were found to be in this situation, but the report’s authors claimed this was a conservative estimate. Families in this situation are forced to make bad nutritional choices, the report claims, while also warning that the average food bill will rise by £357 by 2017.

Kellogg’s has pledged to donate “15 million breakfasts” to the poor by the end of 2016. The report will be submitted to the Government and calls on ministers to monitor food poverty in the same way fuel poverty rates are measured. Downing Street has been accused of complacency over the food poverty situation in the UK, with the Prime Minister suggesting in Parliament that food banks were useful for

“people who feel they need a little extra food”. People can only be referred to one of the Trussell Trust’s 300 food banks by a care professional, as an emergency measure in a crisis.

“A huge change needs to take place to tackle food poverty,” said Kellogg’s UK and Ireland manager Jonathan Myers. “The food industry can play a crucial part by donating more surplus food.”

Chris Mould, chief executive of the Trussell Trust said: “The research findings are shocking, though perhaps not surprising, and are deeply concerning as they highlight the reduced level of nutrition as well as the reduction of food consumption overall.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy