Food Bank - Copyright Jeff Blacker / REX

Christian charity joins call for government measure of 'hidden hunger'

Tue 30 Jan 2018
By Eno Adeogun

A Christian charity has called on the government to produce an official measurement of food insecurity in the UK as new research revealed one in four parents are skipping meals because they cannot afford to buy food.

End Hunger UK, a coalition of anti-food poverty charities surveyed over 2,000 adults, which revealed shocking levels of "hidden hunger".

Alison Inglis-Jones is from the Trussell Trust, a Christian network of food banks which has joined the End Hunger UK campaign.

 

Speaking on Premier's News Hour she explained how hunger can be 'hidden' when friends and family don't notice.

"Some people who are just living on the edge - who are in work, but are genuinely concerned that they may not have enough money to get through to see them through the next few days," she said.

"So there's obvious hunger - people coming to food banks but there's hunger of people who are just getting by."

Christian Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck, whose bill urging the Government to measure food insecurity will be read in Parliament on Friday, said: "Now is the time for the Government to sit up and tackle the growing issue of hunger in our country.

"We know that 1.1 million food parcels are given out in Trussell Trust food banks alone but these figures are clearly the tip of the iceberg - the United Nations has estimated over eight million people in the UK are food insecure, approximately 2,000 food banks and food bank centres are in operation, rising levels of hospital admissions due to malnutrition cost the NHS £12 billion per year and there are record levels of in-work poverty."

The coalition said its figures revealed a "hidden hunger crisis" across the UK amid forecasts of record numbers of people using Trussell Trust food banks.

Inglis-Jones is calling on the government to monitor exactly how many people are "food insecure".

She said: "We want a measurement of exactly what is the detail of food insecurity here in the UK and that is what we don't have.

"We're a charity; we have limited resources - as are a number of others in the End Hunger coalition.

"We would like measurements so we can actually properly address the issue."

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