The number of people using food banks has shot up by nearly a quarter in the last year, according to one of the main providers.
The Trussell Trust says April to September 2019 was the busiest half-year period for food banks in its network since the charity opened.
In those six months it handed out 823,145 three-day emergency food parcels to people in crisis in the UK, more than a third going to children.
This was a 23% increase on the same period in 2018 and the sharpest rise in the past five years.
The trust says the reasons for people needing emergency food are low benefit income, and delays or changes to benefits payments.
In the run-up to the general election it is calling for politicians on all sides to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.
Chief executive Emma Revie said: 'Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty, but currently thousands of women, men and children are not receiving sufficient protection from destitution.
'This is not right. But we know this situation can be fixed – our benefits system could be the key to unlocking people from poverty.'