Figures from a charity suggest a sharp rise in demand on charities for food.
Fareshare, which redirects food trade surpluses to those in need, said its donations were reaching 35,000 people a day, up from 29,000 a day last year.
The organisation said it had seen the largest annual increase in the number of charities asking for handouts.
Fareshare said low-income families were struggling with rising food prices, and one in three charities it surveyed was facing government funding cuts.
The charity has 17 locations around the UK and passes on good quality supplies from the British food industry to a wide network of organisations such as homeless hostels, women's refuges, day centres and after-school clubs.
It said that in the year to April it provided 8.6 million meals to 600 groups, and this year it was facing unprecedented demand from some 700 organisations.
The organisation, which works with more than 100 companies in the food and drink industry, said 42% of the charities it surveyed reported an increase in demand for food in the past year.
Some 65% of the charities were slashing food budgets in an effort to stay afloat, it found, according to responses from 150 community members from organisations Fareshare supplies.
Fareshare said there has been an "increase in people and the types of people" seeking food from the charities.
In the past, its donations commonly went to homeless people and refugee charities but more "destitute families" were now among its recipients.
Fareshare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said: "At a time of unprecedented demand we want the food industry and the general public to increase their support."
He added: "This research supports the growing anecdotal evidence we've seen in recent months - more people are getting in touch with Fareshare asking for help to access food.
This news comes as no surprise to myself and many other socialists who have been reporting this sort of story for months. This sort of story twill get more air time now as it is starting to affect lower middle class families too and only then do the media like the BBC sit up and take note. But the factis that big food producing companies will give little of the surplus to food charities and would rather put it in landfill as there is no profit to be made in excess food they feel. Homesless people and working class families who need food wont be able to pay anything towards this so they dont feel its worth them investing in such projects.
Like any capitalist they will only invest and do something if there is a profit thre to be made.
Isnt it outrageous that in Britain one of the so called richest nations in the world has some of its poorest people living off food handouts and cant afford to feed themselves. What a devastating blow to capitalism that it cannot even feed its own countries people let alone the worlds population.
I can only predict sadly that this story will keep coming back and coming back untill something is done to rid us of this profit driven greedy society based on explitation.
This news story touch's on people who do work who cannot afford to feed themselves not just the homeless. Doesnt this tell you that wages are far too low for people to live on with labours minimum wage now looking a pittance for people to live on with food prices rocketing it is no wonder peoploe are struggling at the bottom of society.
A quote from peter Taaffe i read over the weekend that austerity what we are going through right now should be given its proper name "planned povety". i think peter sums it up pretty well there as that is exactly what it is. When a capitalist cant make a profit it will not spend and could not care less who suffers because of it. Harsh but true this is the system we live under and the system i want to see ended.
There is more than enough food produced every day for the whole world to eat if we had a system based on peoples needs before profits benifiting the many not just the few we'd be much better off. The system i'm talking about is socialism. A planned economy run by the workers, for the workers where peoples needs come first. No one more equal than anyone else.