Low-income households can’t afford to sit down to eat meals together

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Almost four in ten (39 percent) said the worry about putting meals on the table every day has caused them incredible amounts of stress.

More than six in ten (63 percent) said they prioritise cost over quality when food shopping, due to the cost-of-living crisis.

And two-thirds would cook more family meals if they had more money, while 57 percent 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 CEO, said: “The 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.

“The food we provide does not just alleviate hunger, eating meals together also helps people build relationships, and tackles issues such as loneliness and mental well-being.

“The 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.”

The research went on to find fear of not having enough food has caused general anxiety for almost half (47 percent), headaches for 44 percent, and has given 37 percent insomnia.

And as many as 52 percent claim to have gone hungry in order to feed their children.

Almost half (47 percent) have started making simpler meals with fewer ingredients to save money – with 43 percent cutting out meat, and two in five switching to cheaper brands and products.

Furthermore, 45 percent can’t stretch their money to cover good quality food, as 58 percent live payday to payday without any emergency savings.

When shopping, 47 percent also can’t buy as many fresh ingredients as they used to – with fresh fish, meat, and vegetables the items most avoided due to their cost.

More than three-quarters of Brits (77 percent) believe slow cooking and pressure cooking are cost-effective ways 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.

But more than two-thirds (69 percent) of those wish 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: “The Meals for More campaign is a project that is close to my heart and personal experience.

“I 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.

“I 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.”

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