Children ‘Still Going Hungry’

Some families are so poor that their children will go without basics such as food, clothes and heating this winter, according to a survey.

A poll of 1,500 British parents on low incomes found that one quarter said their children miss out on basics such as fruit every day, essential shoes and clothes, and living in a warm home, according to the charity Save the Children.

Two thirds of parents said they often go into debt, with almost one in ten saying they had borrowed from a doorstep lender to make ends meet.

Of those polled, 77% named winter and Christmas as a particularly expensive time of year, while nine in ten parents said they go without to make sure their children have enough.

Almost one in five felt financial pressures put their relationship with their children under stress.

Save the Children is now calling for the Government to introduce seasonal grants to help low-income families at the times of year when their finances are most stretched.

Chief Executive Jasmine Whitbread said: “It is outrageous that families in the UK are struggling to afford basic things like proper food or heating their home.

“The UK is a wealthy country yet we have one of the highest rates of child poverty in Europe.

“Gordon Brown must recognise that for the Government to get back on track in its ambition to end child poverty, greater investment is essential.”

She said the introduction of seasonal grants “would represent a lifeline to families struggling to support themselves this Christmas”.