Almost two million Londoners – of which an estimated 400,000 are children under 16 – struggle to afford or access enough food, new statistics published today by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, suggest.
The statistics are the result of a survey which asked thousands of Londoners about their ability to afford or access food in order to gauge their level of ‘food security’. From the results it is predicted that 1.5 million adults in London have low or very low food security.
Reports of inadequate access to food were highest amongst children in East London (32 per cent) and lowest in South West London (nine per cent) and of the adult Londoners struggling, 40 per cent were either black or Asian.
The survey also indicates that more than a quarter of parents in the capital have struggled to find sufficient food in the past year.
The survey was commissioned by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and carried out by NatCen, in order to better understand the experiences of Londoners. It looked at issues relating to inequality, discrimination and financial circumstances as well as access to food and fuel.
The findings show the poorest Londoners on the lowest incomes were also the most likely to have low food security, with 62 percent of people with inadequate access to food owing money on a loan or credit agreement. There are also some groups of people who are particularly vulnerable to not having money to buy enough food, which includes single parents, unemployed people and disabled Londoners.
The Mayor has set out a number of initiatives to help tackle the high rates of child poverty and inequality which drive food insecurity for vulnerable Londoners.
City Hall works closely with trade unions, businesses and civil society organisations to promote economic fairness and the Mayor has made championing the London Living Wage and responsible employment practices through his Good Work Standard – set to launch shortly – a priority.
However, City Hall can only do so much and the vast majority of levers for tackling poverty and inequality lie with the Government. The Mayor is calling on the next Prime Minister to reverse nine years of cuts to welfare support and public services, and to make the eradication of poverty and inequality a top priority.