ALMOST one in 10 people in the North West have skipped meals, gone without food to feed their family or relied on family or friends for food in the last year according to new research published this week.
The research comes as Tesco stores, including those across Wigan borough, prepare to launch the biggest ever food collection appeal in the UK, with the help of food charity FareShare and Foodbanks charity the Trussell Trust.
Help Feed People In Need will take place at the outlets in Wigan, Hindley and Leigh, among countless others, on December 1 and 2 and will help provide much needed food for thousands of local people this Christmas.
The research found that in total, around 10 per cent of people in the North West have suffered from some form of food poverty in the last 12 months, with five per cent of people skipping meals and four per cent relying on friends or family to provide food.
Significant numbers of parents had also gone without food to feed their children.
The research also found that in the last year 25 per cent of people in the region had changed their eating habits, buying less expensive food or reducing the amount they eat.
Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco said: “Tesco feeds more families in the UK than any other supermarket, and we work hard to make sure people can eat well even if they don’t have a lot of money.
“This Christmas, we want to use our scale and our links with communities across the country to help tackle this growing problem.
“We recently held some local food collections and were overwhelmed by the support from our customers, who have shown incredible generosity.
“I hope they’ll support the biggest ever food collection in the UK and help us to feed hundreds of thousands of people in need.”
Chris Mould, executive chairman of Trussell Trust, said: “Across the UK Trussell Trust foodbanks are seeing thousands more people in crisis turn to us for help.
“Every day we meet parents who are skipping meals to feed their children, or people who are forced to choose between eating and heating.
“This winter is looking particularly bleak as food and energy prices rise whilst incomes remain static.
“We are delighted that Tesco is working with The Trussell Trust’s network of over 280 UK foodbanks and FareShare to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.
“We’d like to encourage everyone to give a can or two to help make this Christmas a happier one for people in crisis. Thank you.”