A CROSS-party group of MPs and Peers will today publish a "route map" towards ending hunger on Merseyside and across the UK.

Chaired by Birkenhead MP Frank Field, the group ran its first report - Feeding Britain - a year ago which documented unprecedented hunger in post-war Britain.

The cross-party group now reports the number of people relying on food parcels remains at a level previously unseen since the Second World War.

They found a combination of unreliable income from wages and benefits has brought a sense of defeat and acceptance of hunger within the community.

Mr Field said: “Despite the terrific efforts by thousands of volunteers we report one year on from Feeding Britain that hunger still stalks our country.

“The greatest failure of our cross-part group has been our inability to stem into government that same sense of urgency that has motivated to such effect the Big Society.

“The Government seems to treat the scandal of hunger as little more than a boil of no significance on our society.

“Nothing could be further from the truth.

“The body of our country is wreaked by a raging fever called hunger.”

The cross-party group suggest the Government consider the Health Select Committee’s recommendation to introduce a levy of 20p per litre on high-sugar drinks.

Top slicing 4p per litre of this levy would be used to fund a national programme of school holiday food and fun provision which could reduce the need for food banks in this country.

They also indicated the nation may be seeing a turn in the tide with the Feeding Birkenhead project as one example.

Around 65% of people who visited Birkenhead’s main food bank had their problems resolved and a reformed welfare contract is being piloted in Birkenhead Jobcentre Plus as part of the project which gives information on how to stretch funds further.

Wirral Council has enacted Feeding Birkenhead’s proposal to automatically register all eligible children for free school meals with 700 children across the borough that were not registered yet eligible now being identified.

Emergency help has been delivered to families who cannot afford to cook their emergency food parcel and between July and October 2015, 402 households received vouchers totalling £11,730 from the npower Fuel Bank at Wirral Food Bank.

The project laid on hot meals alongside cooking and craft activities in the October half term for 360 children at an average cost of £6.75 per child.

Despite the efforts of the Feeding Birkenhead project Mr Field still feels the government must address with more intent the problem of hunger if it is to be abolished.

“I address again the Prime Minister to act this day, as I did in Prime Minister’s Questions as long ago as 2012,” he said.

“Each day an unknown number of children go to bed hungry and take that hunger with them into school.

“At the same time we taxpayers pay supermarkets and food manufacturers to turn into energy the food that could end hunger.

“This amounts to a national disgrace.

“There are some evils in this world which we find impossibly hard to counter.

“That should not be true of hunger in Britain.”