Hunger in the UK

Our latest and most in-depth study to date on hunger reveals its causes, impacts and who is affected.

This landmark research is also the first time we’ve been able to dive more deeply into the experience of hunger in the UK, with reports on Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

With record numbers of people across the country already forced to turn to food banks, our Hunger in the UK reports starkly reveal this is just the tip of the iceberg, with millions more struggling with hunger, but not yet reaching out for charity support.

Drawing of a pile of coins

The scale

One in seven people face hunger across the UK because they simply don’t have enough money.

Drawing of four people and a guide dog

The people at risk

Certain groups are more likely to face hunger.

Drawing of a family being supported by a hand

The drivers

Our social security system is the driving factor pushing people towards hunger.

Drawing of a man worried about health, money and household bills

The impact

Having no money leads to further issues, such as isolation, debt and health problems.

Being forced to turn to a food bank to feed your family is a horrifying reality for too many people in the UK, but as Hunger in the UK shows, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Millions more people are struggling with hunger. This is not right. Food banks are not the answer when people are going without the essentials in one of the richest economies in the world. We need a social security system which provides protection and the dignity for people to cover their own essentials, such as food and bills.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive, The Trussell Trust

But it doesn't have to be this way.

That’s why, alongside the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, we’re calling on the UK government to guarantee our essentials and ensure that the basic rate of Universal Credit at least covers our core costs, such as food and bills.

Find out more

Hunger in

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

See the data for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the first time.

Hunger in Scotland report cover

Hunger in

Download report
Cover of Hunger in Northern Ireland report

Hunger in
Northern Ireland

Download report

What are the policy solutions?

Policy briefing

The roadmap for ending the need for food banks demands change in multiple areas of policy – at the regional, national and UK level. This briefing sets out some areas of focus for policy makers and some specific policy changes that are needed across the different levels of government in the UK.

Download policy briefing

Participatory research and policy development

Policy ideas and proposals were developed in partnership with people with lived experience of using food banks in the Trussell Trust network. This report shared the findings from four participatory policy-development workshops that took place across the UK in 2022/23 using Legislative and Forum Theatre methods.

Download Changing the Rules report

About the research

The Hunger in the UK research project is a multi-year mixed methods research programme delivered in partnership with Ipsos and food banks in the Trussell Trust network. The perspectives and participation of people who have needed to access emergency food has been integral to this research in not only understanding the problems that are driving food bank use, but also in crafting solutions to these problems.

We are committed to making our data available to others for further research and analysis. Data files are accessible via the UK data service.

Download technical report