Wycombe is one of the worst areas in England for food insecurity, new figures have found.

Researchers who created a map showing where millions of UK residents struggle to access food found that the district is one of the areas worst hit by food insecurity – where people struggle to access food or cannot afford to buy food despite being hungry.

Almost 30 per cent of people struggle to access food in Wycombe, while 14 per cent are estimated to be hungry.

The area also has high estimates for numbers of people who are worried about having enough food (22 per cent).

Wycombe was closely followed by Hull.

The research found that in one out of every six local authorities, rates of hunger were more than 150 per cent (one-and-a-half times) the national average.

Dr Megan Blake, from the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food, said: “This new map, for the first time, makes visible the patterns of food insecurity across the UK.

“While no-one should have to go hungry, struggle to get or worry about having enough food, in some places it is at proportions that are especially shocking, particularly as we are a wealthy country.

Bucks Free Press: This map was created by University of Sheffield researchers indicating local food insecurity in adults in January this yearThis map was created by University of Sheffield researchers indicating local food insecurity in adults in January this year

“If we are going to recover from Covid-19 we must address this problem.”

She added: “We hope this clear breakdown of the data will be a useful resource for local authorities and the Government to use to address the challenges facing all people living with food insecurity, and that help can be tailored and targeted to those communities who need it, as the answer is not as simple as opening more food banks.

“Food insecurity is undermining our chances of recovery after Covid-19. We need to urgently address this issue that pervades so many of our communities. No-one should have to be hungry.”

The data from the Food Foundation was from an online survey of 4,231 adults in the UK conducted from January 29 to February 2 this year.

A government spokesman said: “We have spent billions to help those most in need and combat food insecurity throughout the pandemic.

“This includes the £429.1 million Covid Local Support Grant, which was created to help families with food and fuel bills.

“We also know that children in households where every adult is working are much less likely to be in poverty.

“That is why our multi-billion pound Plan For Jobs is helping people across the country improve their skills and move forward in their working life.”