To make ends meet, UK parents skip meals
The price inflation in the UK is now forcing single parents to skip a meal to manage with the increase in food prices.
Close to a third of single parents have resorted to skipping meals to make ends meet because of rising food costs, according to research revealing the household types worst hit by the cost of living crisis.
In a survey of single-parent households, three out of ten reported missing meals as a result of skyrocketing food prices, compared with an overall 14% and one in seven parents in couples in the poll conducted by the consumer group Which?
“Our research has found that families across the UK are struggling with the rising cost of living, with single parents most likely to be skipping meals or turning to food banks to make ends meet,” said Rocio Concha, the group's director of policy and advocacy.
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Which? wants supermarkets to make sure that prices can be easily compared and that there are many options for cheap food. “As food prices continue to increase it is crucial that everyone is able to access affordable food that is healthy for themselves and their families,” Concha said.
The most recent official data revealed that the cost of staples like milk, butter, cheese, pasta, and eggs increased significantly in October, pushing food price inflation to 16.4%, the highest level since 1977. 10% of single parents reported to Which? compared to an average of 3% that they had used a food bank in the previous two months.
According to Which?, households experienced different rates of inflation, with single parents and pensioners suffering the most as a result of spending a larger percentage of their income—30%—on food, fuel, and energy. This decreases to about a quarter for families. However, all households are spending significantly more of their income on essentials than they did a year ago.
One in seven families with children and nearly one-fifth of households with just one parent reported missing payments on important bills like their rent or mortgage in September and October. The rate of missed payments was 8% on average.
One woman in her early 40s told researchers that because of the cost of her bills she could “barely feed my children some weeks." Another added, “I’m not eating properly so that I have enough money to feed and clothe my kids, and still have enough to put in my electricity meter.”