One in eight of children surveyed don't eat a hot meal all day, and 14 per cent have no winter coat, says charity report
Charity Save the Children has launched a UK-based campaign against child poverty after a new report revealed the bleak reality of life in Britain during the recession.
The report ‘It Shouldn’t Happen Here’ uncovered alarming statistics – one in eight of the poorest children in the UK go without at least one hot meal a day, and one in ten of the UK’s poorest parents have cut back on food for themselves to make sure their children have enough to eat.
1,500 children and 5,000 parents, half of whom lived in areas of high deprivation, were interviewed as part of the report, which also found 14 per cent of children don’t have a warm winter coat and 10 per cent are unable to celebrate their birthdays.
A third of the children interviewed said their parents struggled to pay bills. A quarter of the parents said they snap at their children because of their money fears.
Eleven-year-old Duncan told researchers: ‘My mum makes sacrifices so that I can do the hobbies I want to do to keep me off the streets. She cuts back on buying herself new shoes and clothes.’
Justin Forsyth, Save the Children’s Chief Executive, says: ‘No child should see their parent going hungry or start the new term without a warm coat and with holes in their shoes. Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money. That’s why for the first time in our history we are launching a UK appeal. We need to help poor families survive the recession.
‘Given that most children living in poverty have at least one parent in work; it is appalling that those parents can’t earn enough to give themselves and their kids a decent life.’
Maria, 43, pictured lives in Suffolk with her two-year-old son Taiu. She can’t afford the rent and suspects she may soon be evicted.
She and her son survive on food from food banks. In Marie Claire’s September issue writer Stephen Armstrong covered the plight of women using food banks to help feed their families.
Save the Children are aiming to raise £500,000 for this campaign and are lobbying the government to encourage more employers to pay the living wage and provide extra child care support.
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