Rising living costs and changes to the benefits system are driving increasing numbers of vulnerable families to use emergency food services, according to a report from the Barnardo's charity.
The report examines the extent and nature of food poverty among families and young people, based on a survey of Barnardo's services.
94 per cent of services say that use of emergency food services is rising or high.
90 per cent of services say they have referred people to food banks in the past 12 months.
92 per cent of applicable services say demand for Christmas food parcels is increasing.
Barnardo’s Assistant Director of Policy and Research Neera Sharma said: 'It's a tragedy that in one of the world's richest countries, the most vulnerable families can't afford to buy Christmas dinner for their children'.