'It is extreme': Rising cost of food turns people to charity

Consumers and community groups are facing greater hardships as the cost of food continues to soar.

Mo Perkins, from Partington, in Greater Manchester, shops at a local community store selling donated food at vastly reduced prices.

She says it is the only way she can stock her kitchen.

While official food price inflation stands at 5%, the costs of some products Mo would usually buy have spiralled ever higher.

She said: "It's gone extreme. Everything now seems to be a luxury to buy."

Chef Adam Johnson advises people to cook in batches which can help to reduce budgets and food waste. Credit: ITV News

Chef Adam Parkinson, who teaches cookery at the Mustard Tree centre in Manchester believes that relying on cheap, convenient food has made the shock to budgets bigger.

When they first arrived, some of Mustard Tree's users relied on ready meals - never having cooked themselves.

Adam believes that the age-old advice of cooking meals in bulk and freezing can create savings in the food budget.

Dr Amna Khan, a retail expert at Manchester Metropolitan University said she is concerned about what greater inflation is going to be like in the coming months.

She recommends scanning shelves for budget brands (which are similar in quality to branded food), buying frozen food and shopping for reductions at the day's end.

Also she also points to apps which supermarkets use to sell entire bags of cheaper groceries in which customers pay 70% of the price.

Dr Khan has written further tips to reduce your food bill for Granada Reports.

Budgeting expert Ruth Lancey, from The Hope Centre in Partington, has guided poorer families in making their budgets stretch further.

She says that options for the poorest families are rapidly disappearing.

Ruth Lancey asked the Chancellor to help her budget for a family who had to live on £30 a week as he prepares his Spring Statement. Credit: PA

She became so frustrated that she sent a family's budget to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask him how they could make ends meet.

She said: "There's just not enough money coming in. I'm telling them they've got to live on £30 a week and there's no money for transport, clothing."

She asks the Chancellor: "Can you see something I can't?"

Granada Reports forwarded Ruth's email to the Chancellor - and we got a Government response.

A spokesperson from the Treasury said they recognise the "pressures people are facing with the cost of living" and they're spending £21 billion this year and next to help.