Spare a thought for hungry this Christmas time

With Christmas just a few days away, most families will be stocking up on festive treats for the dinner table and family parties, but it is worth us all sparing a thought for those for whom turkey and all the trimmings will be just a wishful dream.

Thousands around the country will go hungry this Christmas Day, just as they do practically every day of the year. Not just the homeless but thousands of people in work for whom feeding their family is a huge pressure on their meagre finances.

Last week my colleague Frank Field, who chairs a cross-party group of MPs looking into problems of so-called food poverty, reported that the levels of people relying on food banks is at a level not seen since the end of the Second World War.

The numbers of people going to food banks has rocketed to nearly one million a year, all at a time when the supermarkets are throwing away more than four million tons of perfectly edible food.

Frank suggested that we need a Cobra committee to look into the situation just as others do in moments of national crisis and he may well be right. That may be for the future but there is something we can all do as we prepare for our family Christmas.

That is to buy a little extra to donate to our own local food banks. It’s a gesture that could make the difference to someone going hungry or having something to eat on Christmas Day!