Fears over food poverty among children

Fears have been highlighted that children's nutrition is suffering as a consequence of the economic recession, following a new survey of professionals working with children. At the same time the government is reported to have commissioned research into the rapid growth of food banks, soup kitchens and school breakfast clubs.

The Children's Food Trust (formerly the School Food Trust) surveyed 253 professionals online between November 2012 and February 2013.

Key findings

  • 85 per cent of professionals said they worked with children who they believed aren't getting enough to eat.
  • 42 per cent reported having given a child food in the previous two years because they were worried they weren't getting enough to eat.
  • 24 per cent had given a child money to buy food.
  • Other respondents reported taking steps such as organising food hampers for families, food bank deliveries to school, and taking parents to get emergency credit for electricity or gas cards so they could cook at home.

Meanwhile the Guardian newspaper reports that government officials have commissioned an investigation into the extent and effectiveness of emergency food aid, amid concern that increasing numbers of low-paid and benefit-dependent households are being forced to use charity food sources.

Source: Press release 25 February 2013, Children's Food Trust | The Guardian, 24 February 2013
LinksCFT press release | BBC report | Daily Mail report | Guardian report