Children's Food Insecurity: Understanding the Problem
Source: End Child Poverty
Why is this?
70% of children living in poverty have at least one parent in work.
Low welfare support
Benefits don’t always cover the cost of food. 38% of families on Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit have to rely on help from charities for food and clothes.
High food costs
Long Term Impacts on Children's Health
There is a direct link between poverty and health outcomes. Unhealthy foods are often cheaper and more accessible which can have a serious impact on long term health.
Unhealthy foods are x3 cheaper than healthy foods, calorie for calorie
Obesity rates are double among poorer children
Source: Broken Plate Report
Impacts on Children's Learning and Development
Only those on the lowest of incomes can get free school meals – household income must be less than £7400 if claiming Universal Credit.
Children eligible for free school meals have lower attainment - in Shropshire those who had been eligible for free school meals some time in the past six years are 20.9 months behind academically on average by the time they reached the age of 16 .
by free school meals
Families also particularly struggle with ‘holiday hunger’ - being unable to meet the costs of feeding their whole family outside of termtime.
In Shropshire, less than half of those eligible are using these government issued vouchers for low income families to be spent on fruit, vegetables and milk.
Free School Meals
There are over 4000 children on free school meals in Shropshire.
Only those on the lowest incomes are eligible, meaning many children in poverty still miss out.
Shropshire Council has provided support to families in the county during October half term and Christmas 2020.
In Shropshire there are hardly any schools or community groups which provide children with a free breakfast before school or during the holidays.