Food charities have warned they are struggling to keep up with demand as new figures show more than four in 10 Britons cut food because of growth prices.
A survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics found that 92% of people reported rising food prices, and 41% said they had cut prices as a result.
The alarming findings are the latest sign that Britain is cost of living crisis begins to bite.
It came as former Sainsbury boss Justin King warned that the “golden age” of cheap food in the UK it was over and buyers would have to wait for higher prices, while “regulating how they prioritize their budgets”.
Mr King argued that supermarkets could do little to help people by lowering prices because their margins were already low.
Large retailers are under pressure to keep prices low after announcing strong financial results, while many of their customers are struggling to make ends meet.
Mr Rose told the BBC Today program: “I think we may have gone through a golden age.”
He stressed that the average family spends less of their budget on food, although he acknowledged that low-income families have limited opportunities to fight rising prices.
FareShare, which distributes food to charities, has urged supermarkets to make more food donations to keep up.
CEO Lindsay Boswell said demand for food was “as high as ever”, with 90 per cent of charities reporting an increase in demand.
Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, warned that the demand for food aid is growing at such a “terrible rate” that suppliers are struggling.
“The food security crisis in Britain is getting worse every day and its long-term consequences will be devastating,” said Goodwin.
“At the very least, aid payments should increase in line with inflation and priority interventions in the first place.”
Feeding Britain said that in the last six months, demand in its food clubs has grown by at least 30 percent, and in some centers there is a 100 percent jump.
“The frequency with which people need our services and the amount of food they need has grown,” said Feeding Britain national director Andrew Forsy.
Despite the increasingly desperate requests of campaign participants, the chancellor has not yet announced further financial support for families in need.
Said Rishi Sunak on Friday, he was powerless to increase aid payments to families struggling with an outdated public IT system – a claim challenged by critics.
According to the charity Give Food, which manages the database of food banks, only in the last month, charities’ requests for food have grown by 24 percent.
“The amount of goods that banks have to donate is the same as we normally expected on the eve of the winter peak, but it’s still only spring,” said Jason Cartwright, founder of Give Food.
The Batley Food Bank in West Yorkshire is one of those who works hard to keep up. He started a donation campaign after saying he was dealing with an “unprecedented” number of service users.
Nina Parmar, manager of the Sufra food bank in Brent, north-west London, reported a large increase in the number of people coming for the first time.
“Over the past month and a half, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of guests, as well as a sharp increase in the anxiety that people feel about their bills, especially for energy.”
“Food poverty is not what happens in a bunker. If people turn to us, it is because they have already had to compromise, make a decision: to refuel the car to go to work, or to replenish the electricity meter.
Rental growth is also becoming a major problem in the area because landlords are seeking to shift the increased costs onto tenants, Ms. Parmar said.
Some food banks are preparing to hire new employees to keep up with rising demand. Teresa Williams, coordinator of the food bank Chipping Barnet, said the organization is looking for its first paid manager after a “huge increase” in numbers.
The national food aid charity Trussell Trust said it distributed 2.1 million parcels last year. The number in January and February this year was 22 percent higher than in the same months of 2020, before the pandemic.
New ONS figures show that about 88 percent of adults have reported an increase in the cost of living over the past month.
About 85 percent of Britons surveyed also noted an increase in gas and electricity bills, and 79 percent said fuel was more expensive during the period.
Nearly six in 10 people – 58 percent – said they were most concerned about the high cost of gas and electricity bills.
The bills will rise sharply again in October when the Ofgem price cap is revised. Food prices are expected to continue to rise as producers shift the cost of higher energy, fuel, transport and labor.
Food price inflation was 5.9 interest in March, almost doubled than this year, increased state aid payments.