Save the Children will today launch a food grant scheme as families struggle to cope with an 18% hike in food prices in the past year.

As part of the scheme, the children’s charity will give families the opportunity to apply for help to buy essential food.

“Benefits simply haven’t been enough and with rising food costs it means that families cannot afford to give children proper decent food,” Save the Children’s Colette Marshall told the BBC. “We think we are heading towards malnutrition happening here in the UK.”

Last week The Grocer revealed that food prices were up by 18% on last year, with staples such as rice up 81%, pork sausages up 51%, mince up 22% and milk up 14%.

Meanwhile, from today pregnant women will be entitled to a £190 ‘health in pregnancy’ grant from the Government. The grant, regardless of household income, aims to help women eat healthily during pregnancy to reduce infant mortality rates, according to the Independent.