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Charities Appeal As Cost of Living Crisis Worsens

Tuesday May 10 2022

As a new report shows that more than two million adults in the UK have gone without food for a day in the past month, Christian anti-poverty charities are appealing for more support for the country’s poorest people.

The survey published yesterday by the Food Foundation thinktank estimates that 7.3 million adults and 2.6 million children now live in households that are food insecure, up from 4.7 million adults at the start of the year – a 57% increase. With food and fuel expected to get still more expensive, the charities are launching urgent appeals, as well as calling for more to be done to help with the cost of living crisis.

Appealing for donations to support Your Local Pantry projects, Church Action on Poverty said: “Millions of people face being swept into poverty this year, by soaring living costs and squeezed incomes.

“Make no mistake: people will go perilously cold, go hungry, and become isolated and destitute on a scale none of us has seen before. 

“In a compassionate, rich country, this should be unthinkable and we must not stand by.”

The Trussell Trust, the largest provider of foodbanks in the UK, warned that people are increasingly facing ‘impossible decisions’ between paying bills and feeding themselves. They have started a petition calling on the UK government to ‘urgently increase benefits payments to keep pace with the real costs of living’.

And Bethany Christian Trust, the Scottish homelessness charity, has launched an appeal for funds to help them reach people before they lose their homes. Bethany highlights the story of Mercy, a single mother who is struggling to feed her three children: “Everything is hand to mouth at the moment, which is hard. How are you going to survive with a family of three?

“As I’m speaking my energy bills are going up. I wanted to swap provider to save money, but because of my debt, I can’t. I just went shopping this morning and prices are going up but my salary is not.”

Luke Wilson, manager at Bethany’s Gateway service, said: “Now more than ever, people who are on the margins can’t afford the basics.”

Releasing yesterday’s report, the Food Foundation said that foodbanks were increasingly being asked for food that doesn’t need cooking, as users can’t afford the energy bills. They call on the Government to increase benefits, ensure everyone is paid at least the Real Living Wage, and expand free school meals and other initiatives such as breakfast provision and Healthy Start.

Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation, 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.”

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