Supermarket boss says food bank users ‘declining potatoes’ as cooking costs too ...
Today, Radio 4

It’s being reported that some food bank users are turning down vegetables - because people cannot afford to boil them.

The energy price cap is set to rise by more than 50% on April 1 from £1,277 to £1,971, hitting thousands of the most vulnerable people across the UK.

Now, managing director of Iceland supermarket chain, Richard Walker, has claimed that he has heard food bank users turn down goods because they don't have the money to prepare them.

It comes as Rishi Sunak faces calls to outline increased support for people in the spring budget as the UK faces the biggest cost of living crisis in years.

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The rate of Consumer Price Index inflation jumped to 6.2 per cent in February, from 5.5 per cent in January, the ONS said on Wednesday morning.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Walker said it was down to the chancellor to make a difference to help consumers.

“I think the cost-of-living crisis is the single most important domestic issue that we’re facing as a country and it is incredibly concerning,” he said.

The UK is facing a cost of living crisis Creative Commons

“You know, we’re hearing about some food bank users declining potatoes and root veg because they can’t afford the energy to boil them. Rightly focus on the consumer”.

He also spoke to TalkRadio, saying: “The situation is that severe. Phrases like a choice between heating and eating sound overly dramatic, but it is a reality when you’ve got no money to spare in the first place”.

While he claimed that Iceland was “doing everything we can” to support customers as food prices also go up

“The pressure is relentless and it’s coming at us from all angles at the moment… And then finally we have operational cost pressures as well in the running of our shops. National minimum wage will increase our cost base by 20 million quid.

The number of people using food banks in the UK has increased alarmingly over recent years, going from 41,000 to 1.2 million people between 2010 and 2017.

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