Walking the Breadline: The scandal of food poverty in 21st-century Britain

Publication date

30 May 2013

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Although the UK is the seventh richest country in the world, many people struggle to afford even the most essential of goods: food. In this briefing, Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam highlight the rise in food poverty in the UK, where over 500,000 are now thought to be reliant on food parcels.

Figures from the Trussell Trust, the biggest network of foodbanks in the UK, reveal that cuts and changes to the welfare system are the most common reason for people resorting to food banks. This growth in food aid demonstrates that the social safety net is failing. Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam believe that everyone should have enough income to feed themselves and their families with dignity, and that foodbanks should not replace the social safety net. This is why we are recommending, among other things, that the government conducts an urgent inquiry into the relationship between welfare changes and cuts, and the growth of food poverty.