A food hub in Bucks has seen the demand for affordable produce double in the last year, with data revealing that millions across the UK are skipping meals to cut costs.

Trevor Snaith, chairman of the Wycombe Food Hub, a non-profit store that collects and distributes surplus food from supermarkets across the community, said demand for cheap produce in the town has doubled over the last 12 months.

"A year ago, we were giving out around 250 bags of food to people each week. Now, it's closer to 500 and that's not counting people who are homeless in the Wycombe area, who we provide free food for.

"It's a scary, worrying situation. We've seen the people who need our services expand to include nurses, key workers, refugees and even those who are working two or three jobs."

Trevor added that he believes the worsening cost-of-living crisis is by no means contained to Wycombe, with "pockets of deprivation" hidden around Bucks, often masked by the affluent appearances of areas such as Prestwood, Beaconsfield and Marlow.

Research released by YouGov shows that this is in fact a nationwide problem. One study found that nearly two million people across the country regularly skip meals for a whole day so they can afford to pay their bills.

Data also showed that 9.6 million households in the UK are currently experiencing "serious financial difficulties", with general financial wellbeing significantly lower than it had been at the time of an initial survey in April 2020.

Trevor also expressed concern about the lack of a long-term solution to address food poverty in the country, which he said could only be implemented on a large scale due to the breadth of the problem.

"The long-term answer would be to give people the benefits and income to allow them to live without having to go to a charity or foodbank.

"We can't provide more than a short-term solution because we're already struggling to keep up with the increase in demand."

He added that he would like to see both central and local government take action to tackle the growing rates of food poverty across the UK.

"The council will signpost to us when people are in need, but they're not allocating staff or resources to us or providing us with funding.

"The truth is, if we saw another increase like we have over the past 12 months, I just don't think we'd be able to survive it."