It's estimated that almost half of the families in Dorset are not spending enough money on food to eat a healthy diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables.
Now a new role is being created in the county to help tackle the problem known as 'hidden hunger' which can lead to a chronic deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
- Richard Slee reports that not everyone can afford to eat healthily:
The Peoples Pantry in Christchurch has about 200 registered users, including single mum Sarah Ball.
For £3.50, members can choose nine items donated by local supermarkets, but the organisation also offers advice on healthy eating, which Sarah has found very useful being on a limited budget after a separation.
- Sarah Bell, single parent
Sarah's family is one of an estimated 165,000 households in Dorset, which a new report claims can't afford to maintain a healthy diet, which according to the Food Foundation costs £42 a week.
- Michelle Smith, Public Health Dorset:
However, as shoppers we've never had access to so much affordable food in the big supermarkets and in local greengrocers.
Cheap nutritious food is available to most people on their local High Street, but the problem is that many people don't know the best way to use it.
Now BCP Council is employing a new Community Food Co-ordidator who'll work with voluntary food agencies like the Peoples Pantry to promote more healthy eating.
- Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader BCP Council:
Following the free advice, it's hoped that more people will soon be putting more of this sort of stuff in their shopping baskets.