A PETITION launched by former Echo reporter to investigate the causes of food bank use and hunger in the UK has received nearly 100,000 signatures in four days.

The volume of support for the petition set up by Jack Monroe, also a campaigner for Oxfam and Child Poverty Action Group, means it will now be debated in the Commons on December 18.

The petition has been signed by some notable individuals, including the leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

When launching the petition on Monday, Miss Monroe said on her blog, A Girl Called Jack: “After speaking at both major party conferences this summer about the realities of food banks and poverty in the UK, after sharing my experiences again and again, after countless reports from Oxfam and the Trussell Trust that show food bank use is on the rise in Britain today – the time has come to do something about it.”

Miss Monroe has also been nominated for the Guardian’s Person of Year award.

She was nominated by writer Patrick Butler for her blog of austerity meals and her campaign work throughout the year.

Other nominees include Andy Murray and Pope Francis.