Food poverty is a British problem

There are 13 million people living below the poverty line in Britain. In Manchester, one of the country’s fastest-growing cities, 38 per cent of children live in poverty. And the situation is only getting worse, as the last few years have seen extreme changes to welfare support, wage increases below the rate of inflation, and food prices steadily rising.

Last year alone, almost a million emergency food parcels were given out across the country by foodbank charity The Trussell Trust —up from 347,000 the year before.

Despite these shocking statistics, and how endemic the issue clearly is, many people still believe all kinds of myths about food poverty. For example: that it only affects people in poorer countries or that foodbanks in countries like Britain are frequented by benefits cheats.

Such ill-informed stereotypes only serve to exacerbate the problem, fuelling a lack of compassion. .

In reality, food poverty can affect anyone. In Britain, there are professionals who are not paid a living wage and who can’t cope with soaring food and energy prices. It affects working families, forced to take out payday loans, and who end up trapped in a cycle of high-interest borrowing. Lone parents, pensioners and those with disabilities, are also likely to be affected.

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