Report: 4 million people at hunger risk as millions of tones of food “wasted”

Hussein Abdel Fattah (News Correspondent), Young London News

A church backed MPs report revealed that 4 million people are at risk of hunger in Britain as millions of tones of food is wasted mostly by supermarkets.

The report named “Feeding Britain” also sheds light on the booming numbers of people resorting to food backs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In 2013 around 350,000 British used Trussell Food bank, Britain’s leading charity food distributor, compared to below around 50,000 in 2010. “This document could turn the tide on the challenging problem of UK hunger, which we have been drawing attention to for over seven years” says Chris Mould, chairman of Trussell Trust.

Mould also praised that the report was put by MPs from both the Conservative and Labour parties and lead by archbishops from the Church of England.

He adds, “There really is a problem. People calling for action on hunger in the UK have not been scaremongering. The overall volume of people needing help from the UK’s food banks has to be reduced.”

The report blamed rising poverty rates, 23% of British people are relatively poor according to a July 2014 study, for the growing number of hungry people in this country.

The report said “from 2004 to 2011, for the first time in post-war Britain, the overall combined proportion of household incomes spent on housing, utility bills and food increased”.

From households spending 31% of their income on housing, fuel and food in 2003, households spent an average of 40% on the same categories in 2012.

The report also pointed at 4 million tones of food returned as surplus in supermarkets each year.

“We recommend that supermarkets begin experimenting in other ways to meet the need for fresh food. Tesco, for example, a pioneer in this field of combating hunger, adds 30% to any food given by its shoppers to food banks” the report said.

Tesco announced that only 1% of its food and produce goes to waste each year as unsold food is directly donated to food charities including Trussel and Foodshare.

The report also criticized the government for not giving enough support for food banks.

The first respond from the government was attacking back the report.

Matt Hancock, business minister said earlier that the unprecedented rise in numbers of people using food banks is ‘because more people know about them”.

image credit: Jessica Reeder

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