One in five people over the age of 70 eat all of their main meals alone, research has revealed.
The Royal Voluntary Service, which runs lunch clubs, said eating alone could affect health and well-being and urged people to help run clubs.
Its survey of 1,000 people over the age of 70 suggested that one in five eat all their main meals alone, while one in 10 said they regularly skipped meals.
Rebecca Kennelly, from the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “For many older people in Britain, eating alone is an everyday occurrence.
“Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is helping Royal Voluntary Service to develop more lunch and social clubs across the country to ensure older people get to eat at least one healthy, hot meal in the company of others on a regular basis.
She said: “We hope our campaign inspires more people to become members or donate their time to volunteer.
“We also want to encourage more people to take the lead in their communities by volunteering to start up their own lunch and social club so that less people have to eat alone.”