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The soaring number of starving Britons who rely on food banks is a national “emergency”, experts have warned.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the group of scientists and officials said the impact on children was particularly worrying because they could face a lifetime of health problems.

The Trussell Trust Foodbank charity says that 60,000 families will need emergency food parcels to get through the festive period – three times more than last year. The number of of patients suffering from malnutrition when they are admitted to hospital has also doubled since the credit crunch, the letter to the health service bible points out.

And there has been a drop in the amount of calories purchased with people – particularly with young families – buying less healthy food, the experts said.

“Against a backdrop of rising food prices, figures from the Trussell Trust show an exponential rise in the number of people being issued food bank vouchers by frontline care professionals,” the letter said.

“This has all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late to take preventive action.”

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The Mirror and Unite Foodbank Appeal >

source: The Mirror
published: 4 December 2013

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