The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has launched an online petition to support its Mind the Hunger Gap national campaign, which aims to highlight the levels of malnutrition in older people living in their own homes in the UK.
The e-petition calls on government and politicians to ring-fence funding to ensure that meal provision remains at the heart of community care.
Mind the Hunger Gap draws attention to the alarming and conservative estimate that around one million older people in the UK are eating less than one square meal a day.
This figure does not include those older people in a hospital or care setting, but refers to those living in the community, who the campaign describes as the ‘invisible' population.
Commenting on the online petition, Andy Burman, chief executive of the BDA, said: "Since Mind the Hunger Gap was launched, we have had excellent support from many individuals and organisations. We now want to take this message direct to Westminster and call for action to help some of the most vulnerable citizens in our society.
"It is an absolute disgrace that in this day and age, we have around one million older people starving on our very own doorsteps. I hope many people will support our e-petition which could then force a parliamentary debate on this crucial issue."
The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association for registered dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation's largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals.
The campaign e-petition can be found and supported here.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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