Food banks feed 2m Britions as cost of living bites
As energy bills and food prices soar, more people need to use a food bank; use of the facilities has grown for almost a decade.
Millions of people are struggling to afford meals and volunteers are doing all they can.
Data from charity Feeding Britain shows that £2billion a year is being taken off benefits in deductions and sanctions, increasing demand for its services.
The Trussell Trust charity says 1,091,282 people used a food bank in 2014/15 but in just seven years that almost doubled to per 2,173,158 users.
This is blamed not only on the effect of the pandemic but the rising cost of living, with households pushed to their limit.
The trust - the country's biggest food bank network - gave out more than 1.3 million food parcels between April and September. Families with children have been hit the hardest: half a million parcels went to youngsters.
The research also found that 95 percent of people referred to food banks are destitute, so do not have enough income for essentials.
Emma Revie, Trussell Trust chief executive, said: "People are telling us they're skipping meals so they can feed their children. That they are turning off essential appliances so they can afford internet access for their kids to do their homework.
"How can this be right? And yet food banks in our network tell us this is only set to get worse as their communities are pushed deeper into financial hardship. No one's income should fall so dangerously low that they cannot afford to stay fed, warm and dry."
Meanwhile it has been estimated that households will throw out nearly 270,000 tons of food this festive season - equivalent to nearly nine million bins of waste.
That includes two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies within use-by dates, said Tesco research.
The supermarket chain is urging customers to make the most of leftovers by having a dedicated Festive Use Up Day before Friday.