Third of single parents skip meals due to rising food prices: Which?

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Almost a third of single parents are skipping meals to make ends meet due to rising food costs, stated a recent report 

Three in 10 single parent households surveyed said they had missed meals as a consequence of rising food prices. That compared with one in seven parents in couples and an overall figure of 14 per cent in the poll by the consumer group Which? 

One in 10 single parents told Which? they had used a food bank in the past two months compared with an overall figure of 3 per cent. 

Which? said households with single parents and pensioners are badly hit because they spend a greater proportion, almost 30 per cent of their budget on food, energy and fuel. For couples with children this drops to about a quarter. However, all households are spending significantly more of their income on essentials than they did a year ago. 

In another worrying sign, almost a fifth of single parent households and one in seven couples with children said they had missed a vital bill payment, such as their mortgage or rent, in September and October. On average, the missed payment rate was 8 per cent. 

“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, its director of policy and advocacy. 

Which? wants supermarkets to ensure prices are easy to compare and that budget food ranges are widely available. “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. 

According to latest official figures, food price inflation has hit 16.4 per cent in October, highest level since 1977. The spike has come majorly because of big increases in the cost of staples such as milk, butter, cheese, pasta and eggs.