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Low-income households are at a significant disadvantage as child food poverty worsens

In the UK, the equivalent of roughly 9 children in an average classroom of 30 are facing food insecurity. The connection between child poverty and educational challenges is clear, putting kids from lower-income families at a significant disadvantage. Unfortunately, the situation is worsening due to an ongoing cost of living crisis, creating added stress, and limiting opportunities for these children.

The Education Anti-Poverty Coalition conducted a survey involving over 1,000 school professionals across England. The results paint a troubling picture, with school staff witnessing tired, hungry, and anxious students who lack essential resources. This not only affects the children but also diverts the attention of school staff from their regular duties to address poverty-related needs, creating a negative impact on both schools and students.

Public sector staff, including teachers, face food insecurity as cost of living continues to rise

The urgency of the child poverty crisis is intensified by the increasing burden on low-income households, including school staff and poorly paid teachers. Today some educators find themselves turning to food banks as they struggle to make ends meet. The severity of the situation has reached a point where individuals are considering leaving their jobs due to the challenges of affording commuting expenses.

These circumstances extend beyond schools, with 5.7 million low-income UK households skipping meals due to financial constraints.

In response, City Harvest, a London-based non-profit organisation, works tirelessly to deliver 1.2 million free meals monthly to community partners, making a positive impact on our society and the planet. This impact is evident at John Perryn School in Acton, where a weekly food bank has been established to assist parents – and staff – facing the rising cost of living and the surge in child food poverty.

Sam, a learning support assistant, and a parent at John Perryn School, highlights the vital support provided by City Harvest: “The food deliveries help me out a lot, they’ve helped so many families.”

This winter, City Harvest aims to deliver half a million meals to children and families facing food poverty during the colder months. City Harvest’s mission involves rescuing surplus food and delivering it free of charge to community partners, including schools and youth centres.

Help feed low-income families this winter

5.7 million low-income UK households are skipping meals because they can’t afford to eat. In London, that’s 1 in 4 households with children facing food poverty.