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  1. ITV Report

David Cameron urged to help 'armies of people going hungry in UK'

A volunteer at a food bank in Glasgow. Credit: PA Wire

David Cameron has been urged to help the "armies and armies" of people who are going hungry in Britain.

A report, backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, claims children are going for days without a substantial meal because of poverty.

Archbishop Welby said it was a "tragedy" that people were still going hungry, while senior Labour MP Frank Field called on the prime minister to take urgent action.

What else does this report say?

Prime Minister David Cameron has been told to do more to alleviate hunger. Credit: PA Wire

The "Feeding Britain" report, written by MPs and peers on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, says:

  • delays in benefit payments are pushing people to hunger and forcing them to seek help from food banks
  • a sugar tax on fizzy drinks should help fund a national programme to eliminate child hunger
  • supermarkets should use proceeds from the 5p plastic bag to help transfer food that would have been chucked away to those in need
  • charities, government, councils and supermarkets need to work together to end the "scandal" of perfectly edible food being thrown away
  • food banks should have trained specialists to offer advice on benefits and budgeting

Has there been an increase in people using food banks?

The report used figures by the Trussell Trust network showing its food banks gave out:

1.1m
emergency food parcels between April 2014 and March 2015
19%
increase on the previous year

Archbishop of Canterbury: This is a 'tragedy'

Archbishop Welby. Credit: PA Wire

In his foreword to the report, Archbishop Welby said it was a "tragedy" that so many people were still going hungry, adding:

I remain saddened because there is clear evidence here that there are far too many people continuing to struggle to feed themselves and their families in Britain in the 21st century.

– Archbishop Justin Welby

Frank Field: PM should be doing more

A food bank is seen in the UK. Credit: ITV News

Frank Field said the prime minister should be showing the same urgency on the issue as he does when dealing with terrorist attacks.

"Just as he has got Cobra, quite properly, to deal with these terrible terrorist attacks and so on, we want the equivalent of a Cobra committee in permanent session," Mr Field said.

He added:

We are in this extraordinary position of, despite the huge economic difficulties we have had, we are a rich nation that throws away and pays people to burn edible food and we have armies and armies of people who are hungry.

We are so precious that we burn food for fear of infecting anybody although the food is perfectly reasonable to eat, and we have got these armies of people who are hungry.

What is the point of being in government unless you are really going to do something about that?

Each night we and the Prime Minister go to bed knowing that kids have gone to bed hungry.

– Frank Field