London: Boy, 14, ‘collapsed with hunger’ in food bank queue


The boy was said to have told staff he ‘hadn’t eaten for a while’ (Pictures: Getty)

A 14-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after ‘fainting from hunger’ while queuing at a London food bank, the charity’s owner has said.

The youngster, who hasn’t been identified, was said to have told staff at Earlsfield Foodbank in southwest London that he ‘hadn’t eaten for a while’ and his ‘cupboards at home were empty’.

Writing about the incident on Twitter, the food bank’s owner said: ‘Today at the foodbank an ambulance was called, as a 14-year-old fainted and hit his head.

‘He hadn’t eaten for a while. The cupboards at home were empty.

‘The levels of hardship and suffering we’re seeing are extreme, every week it gets worse and worse.’

Food banks and charities have been reporting surges in cries for help amid the deepening cost of living crisis.

According to the Trussell Trust, a record 2.5 million emergency food parcels were given to people across UK last year – with just under a million of those going to children.


LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Volunteers at Wandsworth foodbank prepare parcels for guests from their stores of donated food, toiletries and other items on May 5, 2017 in London, England. The Trussell Trust, who run the food bank, report that dependency on their service is continuing to rise, with over 1,182,000 three day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis in the past year. 436,000 of these recipients were children. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

He is said to have remarked that his ‘cupboards at home were empty’ (Picture: Getty)

The food bank owner went on: ‘Stark choices – eating vs heating, cutting every other meal – have already been made this winter.

‘We’ve already seen children sleeping in coats, people coming to us literally starving, with very little support available.

‘There is no road left to run. No safety net or cushion available. And after yesterday’s spring statement, it will only get much worse.

‘We are desperately worried about what comes next. Those who have the least are already suffering the most. How can we tolerate this?’

The horrifying story follows a huge increase in foodbank use across the Capital since the pandemic hit.

From 2020 to 2021, over 420,000 people used a foodbank in London alone – which is an increase of nearly 200,000 from the year before.


LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05: A volunteer at Wandsworth foodbank prepares food parcels for guests from their stores of donated food, toiletries and other items on May 5, 2017 in London, England. The Trussell Trust, who run the food bank, report that dependency on their service is continuing to rise, with over 1,182,000 three day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis in the past year. 436,000 of these recipients were children. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The food bank’s owner said the boy was ‘ok’ and recovering at home (Picture: Getty)

The tweet quickly went viral, amassing nearly 42,000 likes and 11,000 retweets.

Following the exposure, she added: ‘Following this thread, lots of people have asked how they can help.

‘Please write to your MP asking them to address the root causes of poverty. The wonderful @IFAN-UK organisation have produced a template letter. https://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/write-to-your-mp.’

Finally, she added that the boy was ‘ok’, and was now at home and doing well.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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