Figures show one in five parents in West London are struggling to feed their families on a regular basis, according to a survey by charity Felix Project.
The charity, which helps redistribute surplus food to food banks across London, says more financial support is needed in order to meet people’s demands.
The food rescue charity recently surveyed over 2,000 working parents across London and found that in West London one in ten have less than £20 a week – after paying bills – to spend on food.
At a fundraiser in Ealing which raised over £11,000, CEO Charlotte Hill OBE said: “The Felix Project helps over 1,000 community organisations and schools across London each week, including 189 in West London. Each one of these organisations is crying out for more food and we have another 180 new charities on the waiting list in West London alone.
“We urgently need more money to even start supplying these incredible services with food, so we are delighted with the result and the support from Ealing Handelsbanken.”
Concerns around food insecure families have grown in recent years with the number of food bank users in London jumping by almost 100,000 people between 2021/22 and 2022/23. The cost of living crisis has mainly been to blame, with rates of food inflation breaking records in 2023.
Ealing Council says it is aware of the impact spiralling costs have had and it has been promoting resources to help residents better access food and other financial support. Ealing Food Partnership’s Ealing Food Map is one such resource.
It maps out free and low-cost food in the borough giving parents, families and individuals the chance to get a meal without panicking over the cost. There is also a range of groups supported by the council’s Household Support Fund and vouchers to help with paying for food are frequently issued on the Ealing Council’s website.
The council also operates a local welfare assistance scheme, which Ealing residents can apply to and receive additional support with food and other items. Guidance on applications can be found here.
A council spokesperson said: “As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, more and more families are finding themselves struggling to make ends meet, including many who haven’t needed to access government help before. Ealing Council is doing everything it can within its own resources to support those households.
“The main source of help for struggling families the household support fund, which regularly issues supermarket vouchers. And the council is helping in other ways, too, like providing free data SIM cards to adults from low-income households, giving new and refurbished bicycles to schoolchildren and supporting advice services which make sure people are getting all the help their eligible for– pension credit, cold weather payments and more.”
Hillingdon Council says it has also been supporting people grappling with food insecurity through its Household Support Fund. It said: “Our Household Support Fund has been helping households across the borough struggling with the cost of living crisis by supplying food vouchers and free school meals, as well as helping with utility costs, and support payments for those in exceptional hardship.
“Since April this year alone we’ve distributed more than 35,400 food vouchers and helped more than 8,200 vulnerable households to feed their families.”