New data from the UN released today shows that an estimated 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. Approximately 4.5% of people went without food for a whole day within the last year because they did not have enough money to eat.
Alarming new data from the UN released today suggest that as many as 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. An estimated 4.7m people report they went a full day without anything to eat at all due to lack of money. Based on these estimates, the UK – the 6th largest economy in the world - ranks in the bottom half of European countries, on par with Hungary and Latvia.
This provides the first nationally representative data on food insecurity in the UK in over a decade. In recent years, data on food bank use has served as a proxy for counting how many in the UK do not have enough to eat. However, these new UN figures suggest that true extent of the problem is much larger. ‘We urgently call on Government to commit to annual measurement of the extent of food poverty in the UK. The absence of regular, accurate data keeps the magnitude of the problem hidden.’ says Hannah Laurison, who coordinates Sustain's Beyond the Food Bank Campaign, 'The UN figures underline the importance of accelerating action to prevent households from becoming food insecure.'
The UN data is based on a nationally representative telephone survey of 1000 adults. The method used to measure food insecurity has been rigorously tested and is used by Governments in other countries such as the United States and Canada, for regular monitoring. The limitations of the survey point to the need to incorporate measurement of food insecurity in the UK into existing national survey instruments so this problem can be better understood and tracked. Established measurement methods makes this task relatively simple and the cost would be marginal.
Food insecurity is defined as insufficient or insecure access to food due to resource constraints.
Food Poverty: Over 8 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. Sustain is working with communities, third-sector organisations, local authorities and government, aiming to make sure everyone can eat well.
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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.