"Something very serious" is happening "at the bottom of our society" as more and more people use food banks, the Government's poverty tsar told Daybreak.
Frank Field said he had approached the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead an inquiry into the explosion of demand for food banks.
He also expressed shock at how many people needed them to get by.
"If you said to me 30-years-ago that I would be coming on television to talk about this I would have advised you to go into a dark room and actually lie down," he said.
Field admitted the causes behind food poverty were complex, but hit out at the "huge number of landlords" who do not provide kitchens, leaving tenants with only a microwave and pushing them into "expensive diets".
Commenting on the rise in the number of people using foodbanks, a Government spokesman said:
"We have taken action to help families with the cost of living, including increasing the tax-free personal allowance to £10,000 which will save a typical taxpayer over £700, freezing council tax for five years and freezing fuel duty.
"The Trussell Trust itself says it is opening three new foodbanks every week, so it's not surprising more people are using them. They also agree that awareness has helped to explain their recent growth.
"The benefits system supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed and there is no robust evidence that welfare reforms are linked to increased use of food banks."
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady described the numbers of people turning to foodbanks in the UK as "shocking".
The Chancellor is talking up a recovery - but for who? These new figures show that, despite trying desperately hard to make ends meet, hundreds of thousands of people still can't afford to put food on the table for their families.
Welfare reforms like the Bedroom Tax have pushed more households into food poverty.
David Cameron has come under pressure to launch an inquiry into why people are turning to foodbanks as demand for the services continue to surge.
More than 350,000 people received a three-day food package from the Trussell Trust between April and September, three times as many as the same period last year.
It has written to the Prime Minister calling on him to look into the "scandalous" problem of food poverty, warning some foodbank recipients are so poor they have returned produce that needs cooking because they cannot afford the electricity to heat it up.
Trussell Trust executive chairman Chris Mould said: "We said in April that the increasing numbers of people turning to foodbanks should be a wake-up call to the nation, but there has been no policy response and the situation is getting worse. The level of food poverty in the UK is not acceptable.
"It's scandalous and it is causing deep distress to thousands of people. The time has come for an official and in-depth inquiry into the causes of food poverty and the consequent rise in the usage of foodbanks."