Welfare reforms 'behind food poverty', warn major charities

Changes to the benefit's system are "a driver of food poverty" with 20 million meals claimed by people at risk of going hungry in Britain last year, a report from three major charities found.

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Charities blame benefit reforms for food poverty

The introduction of Universal Credit and benefit cuts are "a driver of food poverty", according to a report from three major charities.

A volunteer at the Bromley Borough Foodbank in Orpington. Credit: PA

Oxfam, Church Action on Poverty and the Trussell Trust said, last year over 20 million free meals were given to people at the risk of going hungry because they could not afford food.

Analysis by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty found that 20,247,042 meals were given to people in food poverty in 2013/14 by the three main food aid providers - the Trussell Trust, Fareshare and Food Cycle - an increase of 54% on the previous year.

The safety net provided by the welfare system seemed to be under threat because cuts to benefits are having a "severe impact on poor and vulnerable families".

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