Big freeze leaves many unable to pay for both food and warmth

Thousands of people have begun relying on food handouts to free up money to spend on heating during the recent spell of freezing conditions. The Trussell Trust, a Christian charity that runs a network of food banks across the UK said the cold has led to an unprecedented demand for its parcels, which contain enough donated items to keep a family fed for six days. And research by Age Concern has shown that, despite government relief, one in five older people skip meals to save money for heating. The charity has urged ministers to do more to ease pressure forcing elderly people into the ‘cruel choice’ between food or warmth.