“Kettle boxes” are now being given out by food banks in the UK as consumers struggle to cope with the rising cost of living.
These boxes contain food which can be prepared without using an oven or hob, such as noodles, instant soup and porridge.
A growing number of people have also been given “cold boxes”. The latter contain food which does not need to be heated at all and typically includes breakfast cereal, jams, biscuits and tined fruit and vegetables.
Research carried out by Energy Bill Revolution in January 2013, found that 23% of Brits were forced to make a decision between living in a warm home and having enough to eat.
‘It’s the old cliché: do I heat or eat?’
Speaking on the demand for cold boxes, Annette Smith, a volunteer project co-ordinator of Morecambe Bay food bank in Lancashire, told The Guardian: “We were absolutely astonished when this started to happen, and we were also really upset.
“Why is it happening? It’s the old cliché: do I heat or eat?”
Smith explained that one of the homes which had been given a cold box had seen its energy cut off for the non-payment of a sum lower than £100.
Households continue to struggle due to increasing energy prices
A report issued by uSwitch in October 2013, revealed that eight in ten households planned to reduce their energy consumption over the winter due to increasingly high energy bills.
The news came out just as each of the UK’s major energy suppliers announced they would be raising gas and electricity prices during the winter.