Homeless young people's experiences of food insecurity

Food or heat?


July 2022 - Young people's experiences of food insecurity

New research by the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint has found food insecurity is having a devastating impact on 16-25 year olds across the UK. Almost half (49%) of young people have been forced to go to bed hungry in the last twelve months and over half (54%) have struggled to buy food.

Many young people are struggling so much to buy food that they’re sacrificing meals to pay other essentials costs. Just under a third of young people (31%) cited that bills were the main reason for skipping meals followed closely by the cost of rent (30%), and feeding their children (29%). 

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April 2022 - Homeless young people

In October 2021, the £20 uplift in Universal Credit (UC) the Government had introduced during the pandemic was removed. New research from youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, of over 120 frontline charities was conducted earlier this year and tracks the impact of this. It found that the cut disproportionately affected under 25, because they receive a lower rate than older claimants. The research revealed young people have been unable to access the Household Support Fund, even as the Chancellor's has doubled the money available to help households cope with the cost of living crisis.

43% of households in receipt of UC are food insecure, with the number of young people needing to access Centrepoint’s emergency food support rising dramatically by 417% in 2020/2021. This has worsened again since the UC uplift cut. The difficulties faced by homeless young people, along with the cut and rising cost of living, have put noticeable pressure on their mental health too – Centrepoint notes a 40% increase in demand for its mental health service.

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emergency support