"Clear evidence" links an increasing number of people turning to food banks with welfare and government budget cuts, researchers have claimed.
A team of scientists, led by a team at Oxford University, examined official government data as well as statistics from food bank charity the Trussell Trust to try to determine why people were in need of help.
The number of food banks opened by the Christian charity rose from 29 in 2009/10 to 251 in 2013/14, when it helped supply food parcels to more than 900,000 children and adults.
They found that there was a 52 per cent chance of a food bank opening in an area which had seen an average of a three per cent budget cut for two years running.
In areas where there had been no spending cuts, the figure dropped to just 14.4 per cent.