Four in 10 (40%) households with children have skipped meals at some point in recent months, according to research for a charity.
Around a third (32%) of people surveyed generally had skipped meals during the six months to February this year, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) found.
Nearly a fifth (19%) said they were skipping meals at least weekly.
The charity said it is aware from its own clients that adults will often be the people in the household to skip meals – in order to feed their children.
But it said it is also aware that, despite the efforts of adults, some children may be going hungry at times.
More than half (53%) of adults surveyed had lost sleep worrying about their finances and nearly half (49%) had gone without heating at some point over the winter.
Nearly nine in 10 (88%) people believe it is important that more is done to tackle poverty, according to the YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people across the UK in February.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of people surveyed said they had seen poverty increase in their area.
The same proportion (65%) believe the cost of bills and essentials will put a significant burden on their finances this year.
The charity’s director of external affairs, Gareth McNab, said it is launching a new campaign “asking people to join the fight against poverty’s stranglehold on local communities”.
CAP said one client had been trying to cook using a “makeshift hob”, with hot water in a bowl placed under another bowl.
The charity was able to find and install an oven for him.
CAP said it wants to see political parties include commitments to tackle poverty in their manifestoes.
It also wants people to be made more aware of benefits they may be entitled to but are not claiming.
Pension credit, for example, is sometimes described as a “gateway” benefit because it gives extra money to pensioners on low incomes but also enables them to access other benefits.
People can find out more about the cost-of-living support generally available at helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk.