Map reveals where UK residents struggling to access food

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ates of hunger are more than 150% the national average in one out of every six local authorities, according to researchers who created a map showing where millions of UK residents struggle to access food.

The University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food modelled data from the Food Foundation and for the first time was able to identify food insecurity at a local authority scale.

This new analysis of the national data collected during the pandemic breaks down experiences of food insecurity into three distinct groups.

Wycombe the area worst hit by food insecurity” data-source=””>

Firstly, those who are hungry but were unable to eat food because they could not afford it, or were unable to access food in the previous month.

Secondly, those who are struggling to access food, including those who may have sought help within the last month with access to food, have cut back on meals and healthy foods to stretch tight budgets, or indicated that they struggled to access food in some way.

Data showed that in some places, 28% of adults were struggling.

And thirdly, those who worry about food insecurity or being able to continue to supply adequate food for their household.

The map shows it is England where the areas with the highest and lowest rates of food insecurity are located.

At one end of the scale, the majority of local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber are in the top 20% of local authorities with the greatest percentages of adults going hungry, while in the East of England, the majority of local authorities are in the 20% that have the lowest percentages.

While no-one should have to go hungry, struggle to get or worry about having enough food, in some places it is at proportions that are especially shocking, particularly as we are a wealthy country

The areas worst hit by food insecurity are Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, with 14% of people estimated to be hungry and nearly 30% of people struggling to access food.

The area also has high estimates for numbers of people who are worried about having enough food (22%).

This is followed closely by Hull, with 13% of people being hungry and more than one in five adults who struggled to access food.

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