Cost of living crisis meant one million UK adults went an ‘entire day without food’ last month

More than one in five households said they have already faced a 'heat or eat' dilemma, according to new data.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 16th February 2022

New data has revealed that one million adults across the UK went an entire day without food last month due to the cost of living crisis.

According to The Food Foundation – which surveyed 4,200 adults between 18 and 20 January 2022 – said some 4.7 million adults, or 8.8% of households, experienced what is described as food insecurity in the last month – which is an increase from 7.3% in July 2021.

Of those surveyed, the charity said that one million people reported that they, or someone in their household, had to go a full day without eating.

This was as they could not afford food, or did not have access to food.

These recent statistics highlight the impact of the rising cost of living, with more than one in five households saying they have already faced a ‘heat or eat’ dilemma.


The charity said 62% of households have experienced higher energy bills, 16% have had to cut back on the quality or quantity of food to afford energy bills, and 59% of households said they were worried that increased energy prices will mean they have less money to afford enough food for themselves or their family.

Read more: The North West relies on foodbanks more than anywhere else in the UK


“There is little doubt that the cost of living crisis is putting very real pressure on the ability of many to afford a healthy diet and is set to widen health inequalities further unless the Government acts now,” the charity said.

Anna Taylor – Executive Director of The Food Foundation – added: “If the Government wants to really get to grips with the issue, a comprehensive approach to levelling-up must tackle food insecurity head on.”

Read more: Asda to rollout ‘Smart Price’ value range to all UK stores following viral tweet


A Government spokesperson said in response said: “We know this has been a challenging time for many people.

“This is why we’re providing support worth around £12bn this financial year and next to help households with the cost of living, including putting an average of £1,000 more per year into the pockets of working families, and we have announced a further £9bn to protect against the impact of rising global energy prices.”

Data has revealed that 8.8% of households experienced food insecurity in the last month / Credit: The Trussell Trust

This shocking data comes as food writer and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe praised supermarket retailer Asda for cutting the cost of products in its ‘Smart Price’ range and making them more widely available after she shared evidence in a viral Twitter thread that the price of the cheapest pasta in her local supermarket had risen by 141% in one year, while rice cost 344% more.

Asda said it had taken her comments on board, and vowed to “help our customers’ budgets stretch further” by stocking ‘Smart Price’ in all 581 stores and online.

Featured Image – The Trussell Trust