Hunger in the UK | The Welcome Centre

14% of all UK adults (or their households) have experienced food insecurity in the 12 months to mid-2022, equating to an estimated 11.3 million people.

Over recent years, the prevalence of food bank use across the UK has been a topic of increasing discussion and concern. The Covid-19 pandemic saw individuals across the UK donate time and money to respond to the challenges that people in their communities were facing in this difficult and uncertain period. As the pandemic eased, the cost of living crisis plunged many into further and deepening financial hardship, with food bank staff and volunteers across the UK continuing their tireless efforts to meet this increasing hardship. Both events contributed to never-before-seen levels of need at food banks in the Trussell Trust network, and beyond at food aid providers nationwide.

However, the significant impact of these two events must not distract from a longer-term and more pervasive rise in food insecurity and food bank need; this increase long pre-dates the start of the pandemic. In the five years between 2017/18 and 2022/23, the number of emergency food parcels which the Trussell Trust network of food banks had to provide more than doubled, with a similar trend of rising need seen by other providers of food aid in the UK.

This report examines the scale and drivers of food insecurity and food bank use in the UK in 2022. It sets out the profile and characteristics of people experiencing food insecurity and having to turn to food banks, and explores their day-to-day experiences and circumstances. Over a period of intense disruption to daily life and widespread financial pressures, the report explores the factors which led to some people facing deep, destructive, and inescapable hardship.

This report is the first wave of a six-year mixed-methods research programme delivered in partnership with Ipsos and food banks in the Trussell Trust network. The data is drawn from two comprehensive and representative surveys: one of people referred to food banks in the Trussell Trust network; the second, an online survey of UK general population. Alongside these, we carried out in-depth interviews with 50 people who completed the food bank survey, and four participatory workshops with people referred to food banks in the Trussell Trust network.

Throughout this report, all statistics relating to food insecurity and use of food aid are drawn from the survey of the general population. Where statistics refer specifically to people using Trussell Trust food banks, these come from the survey of people referred to our network.

The Welcome Centre (Huddersfield) is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1151282. We are based at 15 Lord Street, Huddersfield HD1 1QB. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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