Some 4.26m UK households have less than 10 per cent of the budget needed to eat healthily, food charity research finds

Half of those low-income households surveyed said they can't afford to buy fruit and veg

Almost half of the low-income households surveyed said they can’t afford to buy fruit and veg

New data has revealed that up to 4.26 million households across the UK have less than £20 per person per month to spend on food, a food charity reports.

This is just 10 per cent of the budget required to eat a healthy, nutritious diet, according to research commissioned by food redistribution charity The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT).

TBBT says its study, released ahead of Healthy Eating Week (10-14 June), revealed that almost half of those low-income households surveyed can’t access fruit or vegetables due to soaring costs, and over a third experienced hunger weekly.

“Over the past two years food prices have risen by 23.9 per cent putting immense pressure on those struggling financially,” the charity said.

“The UK is home to approximately 28.4 million households, with 15 per cent of those in absolute low income after housing costs, which has left millions struggling to pay for the bare essentials, such as food.”

In 2022, Oxford University calculated that the cost of a healthy diet would amount to £227.52 per person, per month. Due to huge levels of inflation since 2022, the actual figure will now be far higher, TBBT said.

Mark Game, CEO of The Bread and Butter Thing, added: “Most people know they should eat a balanced diet to remain healthy - but the reality is millions of people have less than £20 to live off, so there really is no choice.

“Our members face the decision every month to either eat a poorer diet, with barely any nutritional value, or just skip meals entirely. Simply telling people to eat better without any action to address the underlying causes of a bad diet is a shallow approach, and one which we’ve unfortunately seen repeated over and over.”

The Bread and Butter Thing operates food clubs in 120 locations across the country, providing around 15 million meals a year to over 75,000 families who are food insecure - signposting to practical support like this can be a lifeline to those in need.

TBBT’s food is directly sourced from manufacturers and retailers including Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Cranswick, Brakes, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.