Report shows growth of food poverty in London
- 27 Mar
A new report shows that the number of people unable to afford or access healthy food amid squeeze on benefits and soaring living costs, has increased in London.
The number of food banks in London has grown from six in 2009 to 40 currently issuing food parcels to 34,000, which is how the growth of food poverty is measured.
The report, by the London Assembly health and environment committee, shows that the problem of poverty is likely to increase in the coming months, due to a rising number of low paid and unemployed people in the city.
The cost of living is also continuing to rise which means most people already struggling are then unable to afford healthy food.
The report says that this problem will be exacerbated when the welfare reforms start in April, as this will reduce a lot of people's benefits who are already struggling to manage, who are then likely to resort to food banks.
It also shows that schoolchildren from low-income families are at particular risk of going hungry. Over 95% of London teachers reported some students arrived at school hungry, and 60% had given food to pupils at their own expense.
Although the report says that the volunteers and charities giving the food is a great thing, it is not solving the problem of rising poverty and the crisis is only increasing.
The author of the report Fiona Twycross, a Labour assembly member, said:
In one of the richest cities in the world, increasing numbers of Londoners are struggling to afford sufficient healthy food for themselves and their families.
More must be done to address the underlying reasons why people turn to food banks in the first place.
This report highlights concerns that far from these issues being in the process of being resolved, food poverty is likely to increase in the coming months and years.
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