Poverty in the UK

The UK is the sixth richest country in the world, but many people today are struggling to put food on the table.

Oxfam believes that everyone should have enough money to feed themselves and their families with dignity, without relying on charity. That's why we're working with Unilever, the Trussell Trust, FareShare and to highlight and tackle the causes of hunger in the UK.

Find out more about the Clear a Plate campaign 

Extreme inequality

The UK's five richest families are wealthier than the poorest 20% of the population combined.

Food poverty

4 million children and adults are not properly fed by today's standards.

The issue

One in five of the UK population live below the official poverty line, meaning they experience life as a daily struggle. More working households are living in poverty than in non-working households.

The percentage of households who fall below society's minimum standard of living has doubled over the last 30 years even though the size of the economy had doubled in the same period. Over a third of the population now say that they are just one large heating bill or one broken washing machine away from hardship. Many are finding it difficult to heat their homes or buy essential clothing. Most shockingly, the number of people in the UK that are going hungry is growing.

What we are doing

Oxfam believes that everyone in the UK should have enough to eat. This is why we are working with the Trussell Trust foodbank network, who we have helped to deliver nearly 2 million free meals to families in crisis. We also work with FareShare, who redistribute surplus food from the food industry to community groups, homeless shelters and local community cafés.

But we also believe foodbanks aren't a solution by themselves. That's why we also work in some of the poorest communities in the UK to tackle the underlying causes that lead families to have to rely on foodbanks. For example, we work with the Glyncoch Regeneration Partnership to help parents of primary school children. Supporting the parents to raise their own aspirations, build confidence and develop new skills also helps the children get the best possible start in life.

You can help - support our work to tackle food poverty and its causes.

Video: Food banks usage has risen sharply in the UK

Snapshot of Oxfam in the UK

Donate to Oxfam's work in the UK

Make a donation and support our work to tackle food poverty, reduce food waste, and find long lasting solutions to the underlying causes of poverty in the UK.

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You may also be interested in:

Briefing paper

Below the Breadline - the relentless rise of food poverty in Britain

UK Poverty blog

Read UK poverty posts for debate and analysis.

UK Poverty Programme

Oxfam's work in the UKFind out more about Oxfam's work in the UK 

Other issues we work on