ONE in five low-income households aren’t regularly sitting down for dinner together – because they can’t afford to.
Almost four in 10 (39%) said the worry about putting meals on the table every day has caused them incredible amounts of stress.
More than six in 10 (63%) said they prioritise cost over quality when food shopping due to the cost of living crisis.
While two thirds would cook more family meals if they had more money and 57% would if they had extra time.
The research was commissioned by Crockpot, which is working with FareShare, on its Meals for More campaign, to donate 250,000 meals to families in need across the UK.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare chief executive, said: âThe research shows that many families are not eating together due to worries about cost and we know that the rise in the cost of living means more people will be turning to local charities this winter.
âThe food we provide does not just alleviate hunger, eating meals together helps people build relationships and tackles issues such as loneliness and mental well-being.
âThe money raised by Crockpot will help us to continue to support nearly 9,500 charities providing care and support in their local communities so hopefully fewer families will be worrying about putting food on the table.â
The research went on to find fear of not having enough food has caused 47% general anxiety, headaches for 44% and has given 37% insomnia.
With as many as 52% claiming to have gone hungry in order to feed their children.
Almost half (47%) have started making simpler meals with fewer ingredients to save money.
Steps include cutting out meat (43%) and switching to cheaper brands and products (40%).
Furthermore, 45% canât stretch their money to cover good quality food, as 58% live payday to payday without any emergency savings.
When shopping, 47% canât buy as many fresh ingredients as they used to, with fresh fish, meat and vegetables the most avoided due to their cost.
With 77% of Brits believing slow and pressure cooking is a cost-effective way to prepare food.
And, on average, those polled resort to using leftovers to make a main meal in order to save money as often as three times a week.
With almost seven in 10 (69%) of those wishing these leftover meals were tastier, according to the OnePoll research.
British Chef, Andi Oliver, who has partnered with Crockpot to create one-pot recipes to make home-cooked meals more attainable said: âThe Meals for More campaign is a project that is close to my heart and personal experience.
âI brought my daughter up as a broke single parent and I know what it is like to struggle to get something onto the table for those you love.
âI learnt very early on that a tasty plate of food does not have to cost the earth, and it can make all the difference at difficult times when you can bring the family – whatever shape that family may take – to the table and share something with them that you have made with love in your heart.
“I really hope that these recipes can help people do just that.â
Meanwhile, another study found the average adult bins food worth Â£405 a year because they feel forced into buying larger packs than they need.
A poll of 2,000 adults found 67 per cent have purchased food items well aware they will end up throwing some of it away or not even come close to using it.
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