The places in Essex where adults worry most about going hungry

Various areas in Essex have reported worrying percentages of people struggling or being concerned about going hungry, a new study has found.

It comes after a new interactive map was released by the University of Sheffield revealing the areas in England where people have experienced, struggled with, or worried about food poverty.

While Essex has been one of the counties least affected by this, the map recorded high percentages of people that were anxious about having enough food during January 2021.

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In certain districts like Chelmsford, Colchester, Trending, Maldon and Basildon, many residents also claimed they struggled with putting enough food on the table.

The Essex area currently most affected is Chelmsford, with 8.25 per cent of its residents struggling and 9.49 per cent expressing worry about food supplies.

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However, the districts with a higher percentage of worry regarding food insecurity are Thurrock and Trending, with 11.64 per cent and 11.17 per cent respectively.

Sheffield University defined ‘struggling’ as ‘sought help accessing food’, ‘skipped or shrank meal’, and/or ‘gave a reason for not having enough food’.

‘Hungry’ was also identified as ‘having skipped food for a whole day or more in the previous month or indicated they were hungry but not eaten because they could not afford or get access to food’.

Dr Megan Blake, from the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food, who also collaborated on the study, told the University: “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.”

Enter your postcode below for the nearest food banks in your area:

According to the study, here are the Essex areas most affected by food insecurity, given as percentages for each of the three categories:

Chelmsford

  • Hungry: 1.47
  • Struggle: 8.25
  • Worried: 9.49

Trending

  • Hungry: 1.52
  • Struggle: 6.16
  • Worried: 11.17

Southend-on-Sea

  • Hungry: 1.13
  • Struggle: 4.69
  • Worried: 9.84

Harlow

  • Hungry: 1.96
  • Struggle: 6.30
  • Worried: 10.51

Braintree

  • Hungry: 0.87
  • Struggle: 4.00
  • Worried: 7.18

Colchester

  • Hungry: 1.76
  • Struggle: 7.32
  • Worried: 9.58

Maldon

  • Hungry: 1.55
  • Struggle: 5.65
  • Worried: 8.63

Basildon

  • Hungry: 1.38
  • Struggle: 6.52
  • Worried: 9.16

Thurrock

  • Hungry: 1.69
  • Struggle: 6.27
  • Worried: 11.64

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Essex Live – Colchester