Kellogg’s has pledged to donate 15 million breakfasts and snacks to food banks and school breakfast clubs after publishing a new report highlighting the “shocking” levels of food poverty in the UK.
The report, published on Tuesday, says the amount of people fed by food banks has soared in the last three years and is likely to double to 280,000 in the next year. It found that the poorest households spent nearly a quarter of their income on food and non-alcoholic drinks in 2012, while the average household food bill has risen 20% in the last five years and is likely to rise £357 over the next five years. It also noted that four out of five teachers reported some pupils coming to school hungry, and that financial hardship is an issue.
Jonathan Myers, Kellogg’s UK MD, said that levels of poverty are likely to get worse, but there is currently no official measure for food poverty in the UK. The company is calling on the UK government to monitor food poverty to get a realistic understanding of the problem.
It is also working with schools and charities to alleviate the problem. The company wants to “start a conversation” with other manufacturers to increase support for communities affected by food poverty, saying the brand’s support for food banks would not only raise awareness of the problem, but provide a platform for increased stability and future developments.
“There is a growing problem and we need to focus on areas where we have expertise,” Myers said.