Almost 5,000,000 UK adults have to ration meals or have no access to healthy foods

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt

Nearly 5,000,000 adults in the UK are suffering from "food insecurity", according to a Food Foundation survey.

In addition to the adults impacted by the issue, a further 1,700,000 children are also suffering from the problem, which has seen households run out of food or ration meals.

Food insecurity is almost 250% higher than prior to the coronavirus lockdown, put in place towards the end of March.

Supermarket shelves are better stocked than earlier in the pandemic. Credit: PA

Around 880,000 households are receiving food parcels from the government or other charitable services, while a further 4,400,000 are reliant on friends, families, neighbours or volunteers to bring produce to them.

For those required to isolate for 12 weeks, 27% are relying on neighbours, friends and families and volunteers, while 7% are receiving government or charity food parcels.

A total of 15,400,000 households have reported a drop in income during the pandemic, with 1,800,000 saying they are struggling without replacing the loss.

Furthermore, only 46% of those who have applied for Universal Credit have received any money.

Supermarkets are once again well-stocked following early rushes to buy items but households are struggling to afford what they need.

Four million households have borrowed money or gone into debt in an attempt to make ends meet.

The government have offered £16m to help those struggling but it does not go far when 4,900,000 adults are in the same unfortunate predicament.

A Government spokesperson said: “We know there are people who do not fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable group, but still need help getting essential food supplies.

“For those who cannot rely on friends and family, there are other options available. If a person meets the criteria to get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, they can call 0808 196 3646 to be linked with a volunteer who can do a food shop for them. A carer or family member can also do this on their behalf.

“There are also commercial food delivery options available, including food boxes and prepared meals. A list of these has been shared with local authorities and charities. Anyone in urgent need of support should contact their local authority, most of which have dedicated Covid-19 helplines.”