Viewpoint: Hunger epidemic should figure in election debate

  • Paul Donovan

Volunteers dole out rations

Volunteers dole out rations

Journalist Paul Donovan writes: Why do over three million children go hungry in the school holidays and more than one million go to foodbanks in the fifth richest country in the world?

Hunger does not seem to be a subject that has figured prominently in the present general election campaign, yet its growing occurrence, particularly among children, is a national disgrace.

Two recent reports highlighted the growing scandal. The first from the Trussell Trust, which administers 427 foodbanks countrywide, reported how the number of people receiving emergency three day supplies of food rose by 73,000 over the past year to 1.182,954 people. The total included some 460,0000 children.

The primary causes of referral to foodbanks were low pay (26.45%) and benefit delays (26.01%)

The second report titled, Hungry Holidays, from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger (APPGH) told how up to three million children risk going hungry in the school holidays. “This group comprises over a million children growing up in poverty who receive free school meals during term time, as well as an estimated two million who are disqualified from free school meals because their parents work for their poverty,” says the report.

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Tags: food banks, Paul Donovan, election, food banks

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