Food banks: Hunger is stalking country, Archbishop of Canterbury tells MPs
Politicians from all parties will today be challenged to confront the "simple but devastating fact that hunger stalks this country".
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby will join the veteran anti-poverty campaigner Frank Field and others to launch a report into the "new phenomenon" that families are driven to relying on food banks because of failures in the welfare system.
Many families are so desperate to avoid being evicted for rent arrears, or having their gas or electricity cut off that "they go without food and therefore see food banks as reintroducing that buffer in their finances which many have lost," the report's authors warn.
They call for government backing to set up a new network called Feeding Britain, to co-ordinate the work of food banks and other voluntary organisations and charities - which currently receive just 2% of the 4.3 million tonnes of waste food generated by the food industry every year.
Praising the volunteers who run the food banks, the Archbishop wrote in yesterday's Mail on Sunday: "This extraordinary achievement has been done without the assistance of central government.
"If the Prime Minister wants to meet his Big Society, it is here."