Families Are Living In Crisis, Research Shows

Half of the children accepting supplies from foodbanks are aged in the range of five and eleven, new research has revealed.

The Trussell Trust, which operates more than 420 foodbanks, said its examination indicated how families are living in crisis.

There were more than 67,500 three-day emergency food supplies given to kids in July and August in 2016; this is 4,000 more than the earlier year, the study has found.

Half went to 5 to 11-year-olds, a little more than a quarter to below four-year-olds and a fifth to children aged 12 to 16-year-olds, said the Trust.

A Government spokesperson stated: “Record numbers of people are now in work and we’re helping millions of households meet the everyday cost of living and keep more of what they earn.

“We’ve doubled free childcare to help parents into work, and continue to spend over £90 billion a year on support for those who need it, including those who are bringing up a family or on a low income.

“Budgeting advice and benefit advances are also available for anyone who needs more help.”

It included that the rate of primary school students helped by foodbanks was reliably high all year, with 46% of all kids referred in the year to March were aged between five and eleven.

The charity said it will offer additional assistance to families this late spring, with extra aids including a holiday club.

Trained volunteers will converse with parents over why they are struggling and to offer help.

Samantha Stapley, operations manager for England at the Trussell Trust, stated: “Over a third of all the food distributed by food banks in our network consistently goes to children, but these new figures show five to 11 year-olds are more likely than other children to receive a food bank’s help.

“This highlights just how close to crisis many families are living. We can all make a difference – checking which food your local food bank is running low on and donating to make sure emergency food is available when people are referred to help is a simple and effective way to get involved.

“As a nation, we also must address the reasons why families with children are referred to food banks in the first place.

“We welcome the Government’s decision to maintain free school lunches for children during term time – the next step must be to help families during the holidays.

“Foodbanks are doing more than ever before but voluntary organisations alone cannot stop primary school children facing hunger.

“We are keen to share our insights with the new Government alongside other charities to inform a long-term coordinated solution to stop families falling into crisis.”

The Rt Rev, the Lord Bishop of Truro Tim Thornton, stated the figures were “shocking”, adding: “That so many primary age children are going without food in our country is of great concern.

“It is good that so many voluntary organisations, the vast majority of which are based on churches, are working to provide help for families during the summer holidays, said the Bishop who chairs the Children’s Society.

“It is very good that the community wants to help and work with those less fortunate and that is a key part of the gospel values.

“It is, however, also important that we keep trying to understand the deeper reasons why this situation is as it is.”