John Allen

Tesco will not be able to hold back the tide of price rises, said its chairman, John Allan

Almost five million adults have experienced food insecurity in the past month, according to new data released by the Food Foundation.

Amid rising concerns over food price inflation and soaring energy bills, the data shows 8.8% of households fell into the category, compared with 7.3% in July 2021.

Meanwhile 3.6% (one million adults) reported that they or someone in their household had had to go a whole day without eating in the past month because they couldn’t afford or access food (up from 2.6% in July).

The foundation said it showed energy and food price rises, along with the removal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, were having a “devastating” impact on millions of people across the UK.

The report comes after Tesco chairman John Allan told the BBC at the weekend he was aware people were having to choose between food and heating and warned “the worst is yet to come” on food price inflation, which he predicted would soon hit Tesco’s projected level of 5%.

The Food Foundation said it was calling on ministers to make tackling food insecurity central to the ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Executive director Anna Taylor said: “‘The levelling up white paper commits to boosting productivity, pay and job security but does not commit to reducing food insecurity rates.

“Food insecurity is a vital measure if we are to monitor severe material deprivation. It contributes not only to health inequalities and life expectancy, but also social wellbeing. If the government wants to really get to grips with the issue, a comprehensive approach to levelling up must tackle food insecurity head on.”