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Hunger in UK at alarming levels: Top priest

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The head of the Church of England has expressed shock over the scale of hunger in the UK, calling for reforms aimed at providing support for the have-nots.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he was more appalled by the plight of poor British families relying on food charity than starvation in Africa because the phenomenon is unexpected.

Welby warned that hunger “stalks large parts” of the UK, while the scale of waste in the country is “astonishing.”

He called for reforms that would allow food companies to provide the poor with the items they could no longer sell.

The archbishop has voiced support for a parliamentary report aimed at eliminating hunger in the UK by 2020. The parliamentary bid, expected to be published Monday, has reportedly called for a new publicly-funded body, known as Feeding Britain, to achieve that aim.

Earlier in 2014, charities running food banks criticized the government for its economic policies which have led to a dramatic rise in the number of food banks in Britain.

In February the government was accused of “taking food from the mouths of children” after it blocked millions of pounds of EU funding allocated to food bank use in the UK.

The government says any food aid must be decided nationally, not by Brussels.

On October 16, the Age UK charity organization released a report which revealed that 1.6 million pensioners in Britain live in poverty, as many of them miss out on entitled government benefits.

According to a report by Credit Suisse, the UK’s richest 10 percent control 54.1 percent of the country’s wealth compared to the 51.5 percent in 2000.


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