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Over 50,000 local people struggling to afford food due to cost-of-living crisis

New analysis by the Progressive Alliance reveals that an estimated 51,876 local people are struggling to afford food and are skipping meals or eating less due to the deepening cost-of-living crisis.

The analysis, based on Resolution Foundation research, comes as new figures from the ONS shows food inflation at a staggering 19.1% - its fastest pace in 40 years.

Food prices continue to soar, with staple items costing up to 50% more than they did last year. A dozen eggs now costs an average of £3.19, compared to £2.42 in 2022, and four pints of milk costs £1.70 compared to last year’s average of £1.23. Pasta, once a cheap dinner option, has seen a cost increase of 24% in the past 12 months.

Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Inequalities, said:

“The cost-of-living crisis is getting deeper and deeper and local families are sadly paying the price. Almost a fifth of people have now been forced to skip meals or eat less because they can’t afford food, and that is absolutely heartbreaking.”

Milton Keynes City Council continues to help families with the cost-of-living crisis, and has spent millions of pounds in financial support for local people. Through the Progressive Alliance’s Winter Plan, the City Council’s £20,000 donation to SOFEA meant over 15 tonnes of long-life food could be delivered to food larders across the city.

The funding meant families had access to thousands of heavily discounted food items, including:

  • 2,700 packs of spaghetti

  • Over 10,000 tins of vegetables

  • 1,000 tins of peaches

  • Nearly 7,000 tins of beans

  • 5,000 tins of tuna

  • 3,840 tins of soup

The City Council encourages households to sign up to one of Milton Keynes’ nine food larders, where anyone can pay a small weekly fee to have access to surplus groceries at subsidised rates. By joining a food larder, an individual could save up to £400 per year on their weekly shop while preventing perfectly good food from going to landfill.

Woughton and Fishermead Ward Councillor Sue Smith, who is also Chair of Woughton Community Council, said:

“It’s devastating that thousands of families are skipping or missing meals due to soaring food costs. Food larders are a cost-effective way to save hundreds on food shops while getting long-lasting food items and fresh groceries. I’ve seen first-hand the difference that they’ve made to people in my ward, and I recommend the initiative to everyone.”


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