The UK Faculty of Public Health recently said that many people do not have enough income for a ‘decent diet’.

They stated that ‘increasing numbers of people on low wages are not earning enough money to meet their most basic nutritional need for maintaining a healthy diet’.  The stated ‘food poverty’ is increasing and should not be acceptable in the UK which is the worlds 6th largest economy.  The letter was signed by 169 members of the Faculty and will also be published in the Lancet Journal.  They state that factors involved in food poverty include rising food prices, falling wages and cite a boom in food banks as proof.  They call on the government to set up an independent working group to monitor nutrition and hunger in the UK.

This comes as the UK’s largest food bank provider, the Trussell Trust, said demand for its help had doubled in the last year.  Nearly 1 million parcels were handed out over the last 12 months compared to 350 thousand the previous year.    This figure is hard to quantify, as the trust has opened more food banks during this period, but it insists that food poverty is a growing problem.

Debt and Food Poverty

There is an increasing concern that many people in significant debt, either secured or unsecured, choose to meet the credit commitments rather than spend the money on food for their family. Prioritising debt payments over buying food cannot be an easy choice to make. However, debt commitment often come hand in hand with significant creditor pressure – particularly if the creditor is threatening Court action for defaulted debt or indeed if there is a County Court action or Judgment in place.

Undoubtedly therefore there is a link between debt and the growing food poverty problem.  When keeping up with debt payments is already a struggle, affording a nutritious diet with ever increasing food prices may leave some people no option but to turn to food banks.

Anyone in debt can get free debt advice from a reputable provider and this may assist with the difficult choices to be made. To discuss debt issues with an insolvency solicitor or to explore options such as bankruptcy or debt management plans free of charge and in confidence, please contact us.