The Government may be covering up the extent to which austerity and welfare cuts are adding to the problem states a report in the Independent

Hunger in Britain has reached the level of a “public health emergency” leading doctors and senior academics have said, in a letter to British Medical Journal {jcomments on}

In the letter, they say that the effect of Government policies on vulnerable people’s ability to afford food needed to be “urgently” monitored.

Despite mounting evidence for a growing food poverty crisis in the UK, ministers maintain there is “no robust evidence” of a link between sweeping welfare reforms and a rise in the use of food banks.
However, publication of research into the phenomenon, commissioned by the Government itself, has been delayed, amid speculation that the findings may prove embarrassing for ministers.

Chris Mould, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, the largest national food bank provider said that one in three of the 350,000 people who required a food bank hand-out this year were children.

He called the BMJ letter a “timely warning” and criticised the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for keeping its report into the problem “under wraps”.

Luciana Berger, Labour’s shadow minister for public health, said that it was a “national scandal” that people were suffering from malnutrition in the UK.

“This shouldn’t be happening in 21st century Britain,” she said. “With hundreds of thousands having to access emergency food aid…David Cameron needs to listen to what the experts are saying and tackle the cost of living crisis driving people into food poverty.”

50,000 people sign petition launched by former food bank user

More than 50,000 people in have signed a petition calling for Parliament to hold a debate on the causes of food poverty in the UK.

The petition was launched on Monday by the writer and former food bank user Jack Monroe.

In her appeal on the website, Ms Monroe called on supporters to “make politicians confront what is happening.”

The petition has been backed by the Unite union and the national food bank charity the Trussell Trust.

Read the full story here


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