Hunger a 'brutal reality' in UK, says children's charity

By agency reporter
26 Apr 2014

Responding to the recent Trussell Trust report on food bank use and hunger, a leading children's charity says urgent action is needed.

The Children's Society, which has a church background but works with people of all beliefs and none, is particularly urging the UK government to reverse its decision to scrap funding for local welfare assistance schemes.

The Trussell Trust is a Christian charity which has played a major role in the development of foodbanks in response to the growing hunger problem among poorer families, and also advocates for tackling the root causes of the problem.

Lily Caprani, Director of Strategy and Policy at The Children’s Society, commented: "Hunger is a brutal reality for vast numbers of families and children across the UK. It is shameful that, according to these new figures, hundreds of thousands of children in this country are now forced to depend on food banks.

"'We know from our work with schools that nearly three-quarters of teachers are seeing children coming to school with no lunch and no way to pay for one.

"The government’s massive changes to welfare and rising food, fuel and housing costs are making it impossible for many working and non-working parents to afford the basics. An estimated 400,000 households a month are being forced to take pay-day loans to pay for food and other essentials. This is a scandal in any developed country.

"The government needs to reverse its decision to scrap funding for local welfare assistance schemes – the last line of defence for vulnerable families in need of crisis help. By withdrawing this vital support many more children and families will find themselves trapped in a relentless cycle of poverty, hunger and debt."

Government supporters essentially continue to deny that there is a hunger problem with disadvantaged and low income people in Britain.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is among those who have attacked the integrity of Trussell Trust and others working and campaigning on the issue.

End Hunger Fast, supported by Ekklesia and others, has been among the high profile initiatives to highlight the reality of breadline Britain and to call for change.

[Ekk/3]

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