Cost of living crisis will drive more families to food banks, charities say Business News

Labor has warned of a ‘cost of living tsunami’ as families face price hikes of up to 50% on everyday groceries.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the cheapest pasta has risen by 50% in the 12 months to April, while the average price of bread, ground beef, rice and crisps has increased by more than 15%.

Charities say the increase will see more poorer families turning to food banks as households grapple with the brunt of the cost of living crisis, which has driven up energy bills , rental prices and food costs.

It comes after The Independent revealed how tens of thousands of Britain’s poorest families risk missing out on support measures introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak through the benefit cap.

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: ‘Prices are soaring as struggling families are cutting back or even turning to food banks.

“Last month Tory MPs cut Universal Credit in real terms after cutting it by £20 a week last year. It is a cost of living tsunami caused by years of Conservative economic mismanagement.

Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator of the Independent Food Assistance Network (IFAN), said: “Rising staple food prices combined with rising energy costs will inevitably put even more pressure on low-income households. income and, in turn, increase the need for food banks.

“The Chancellor’s money-focused interventions are welcome, but they don’t go far enough given the scale of the UK’s longstanding poverty crisis.”

IFAN said 93% of its food banks reported an increase or significant increase in the need for their services since the start of 2022.

As part of the ONS research, statisticians chose 30 low-cost grocery products that are regularly purchased by households and tracked their prices from April 2021 to April 2022. Over this period, average prices jumped 6 to 7%, approaching inflation. overall food and alcohol prices.

“For months we have heard that the lowest income families have had to make tough choices when doing their weekly grocery shopping, putting items back on shelves and at checkout when hit by rising prices. price,” said Alice Fuller, the child’s caregiver. poverty at Save the Children UK.

“This new analysis from the ONS of 30 everyday grocery items confirms their experiences and shows that the cost of living crisis has already had an impact on people’s finances and the way they eat… The price of ‘a shopping cart adds to people’s misfortunes.’

Some everyday items tracked in the ONS analysis showed falling prices, including cheese, pizza, chips, sausages and apples. The cost of potatoes saw the most notable drop, at 14%.

However, the research, which the ONS described as “highly experimental”, does not take into account the costs associated with purchasing a product.

While potato prices have dropped significantly, many struggling households are avoiding them because they take longer to boil than the alternatives and therefore use more gas or electricity. In March, Iceland’s boss said some food bank users were refusing potatoes and other root vegetables because they couldn’t afford to boil them.

Along with the increase in basic groceries, food bank use has also increased, according to the Trussell Trust.

Between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, the charity’s UK network food banks distributed over 2.1 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis, an increase of 14% from one year to the next.

Elizabeth Maytom, project manager for Norwood-Brixton Food Bank in south London, said local demand had particularly intensified in recent weeks, calling it “unprecedented”.

“We don’t have enough stock,” she said. “Even basic products like pasta and baked beans, we ask the general public, which we never did before. We see a lot of people needing help for the first time.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-30 18:36:38

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