Food waiting to be put into parcels at a foodbank
Food waiting to be put into parcels at a foodbank

A Nottingham-based charity that provides food parcels has been forced to reduce the size of its packages due to the effect of sharply rising inflation.

The annual rate of consumer price inflation reached 5.4 per cent last month, up from 5.1 per cent in November, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

With annual food inflation rates reaching 4.2 per cent and food costs growing by 1.3 per cent in December alone, the country has seen the greatest rise in food costs since 2012.

Hyacinth Francis-Watson, Regional Manager of the Chayah Development Project in St Ann’s said: “We have seen that people are asking for more support and parents are collecting meals for their children more and more regularly.

“The fact that the fuel crisis is looming means that families are afraid and are saving what they have.

“We are struggling to keep on top of the demand for food parcels and are having to make them smaller which is painful for us as a project.”

Ever since the pandemic hit, the charity has provided food parcels which include hot Caribbean meals and essential non-food toiletries to Nottingham locals.

They cook an average of 150 meals per week, depending on funding and donations from volunteers and members of the community.

Hyacinth explained that as a result of some of her volunteers working part-time, they have struggled to keep on top of the demand for the food parcels, and have therefore had to reduce the amount of food they allocate to each individual.

Data has shown that of the 45 staple food items for which the ONS records prices, 37 have gone up in price, while only eight have gone down or stayed the same.

A roasting joint of beef, for example, cost an average of £8.81 per kg in December 2020 and rose to £11.33 in December 2021; while other fruit and veg products such as cauliflower, pears, and desserts apples have risen by more than one fifth.

The Bank of England expects the consumer prices index to peak at 6 per cent this year, however, some economists fear that it could exceed this.