More 13m people in the UK (about one in five) live below the poverty line. According to a recent survey for Tesco, the Trussell Trust and FareShare, a staggering 30% of UK adults
have either skipped meals, gone without food to feed their family, or
relied on relatives or friends for food during the last year. With
growing numbers of people having to choose between heating and eating,
food banks are reporting that increasing numbers of people are returning
food items that need to be heated, as they cannot afford the associated
The Trussell Trust, a charity dedicated to providing food in the UK, reported a 170% increase
in the number of people who have turned to its food banks over the past
12 months. The number of people receiving a minimum of three days
emergency food more than doubled between 2010-11 and 2011-12. The
organisation helped 346,992 people in 2012-13, more than a third of
which were children. To keep up with demand, the charity is launching
three new food banks every week. It and now runs over 400 across the UK.
n the US, the number of people without secure access to food has also increased in the wake of the crisis to 49m people, or 15.9% of the population). The number of participants in the new federal food stamp programme has increased from 17.2m in 2000 to 44.8m in 2011.
Children are particularly badly affected. In 2009, one fifth or more of the child population of 40 states and Washington DC lived in food insecure households. More than 31m children now receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program.
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