In the wake of skyrocketing living costs, one in three lone parents in the UK are being forced to skip meals to make ends meet. “Anxiety about not being able to feed the kids is causing huge stress,” says Shona Goudie from the British charity The Food FoundationPublished: December 5, 2022, 6:31 amToo many Brits awaits a tough winter with inflation that has skyrocketed and sharply rising energy and food prices in the past year. The hardest hit are the groups that were already financially vulnerable – and who may now be forced to choose between heating their homes or buying food. According to a survey by the British consumer organization Which? A third of the country’s single parents say they skip certain meals because of the skyrocketing cost of living.Shona Goudie, an analyst at the British charity The Food Foundation, points out that single parents were already in a tough spot before prices skyrocketed. try as they might, these parents often find it difficult to make enough money to feed their children. Among other things depending on the fact that they have a low income, as they often cannot work full-time due to inadequate childcare. And the worry about not being able to afford to let the children eat their fill leads to enormous stress, which in turn affects the parents’ mental and physical health,” she tells TT. Also more and more British teachers in economically disadvantaged areas are raising the alarm about children showing up to school hungry, stealing food from their classmates, or skipping school lunch because they can’t afford to pay for it. One who grew up in poor conditions himself is British soccer star Marcus Rashford . For several years now, together with The Food Foundation, among others, he has been running an attention-grabbing campaign for more children from poor homes to have access to free school meals. According to Shona Goudie, many children today fall through the cracks. “Approximately 800,000 of the children living in poverty in England are not entitled to free school meals, as they come from households that end up just above the prevailing income limit. For these children, the situation is extremely acute and it will worsen during the winter, when food and energy prices are expected to rise further,” she says. According to Shona Goudie, the consequences of living in food poverty are also great. “People living in economic vulnerability tell us that the children are greatly affected. And not knowing how to get the next meal of food has a far-reaching impact on people’s lives,” she says. Food inflation in Great Britain reached a record high of 16.4 percent in October, which is the highest level since 1977. Above all, the prices of basic goods such as milk, butter, cheese and eggs have skyrocketed – which has led to a significant increase in pressure on the country’s food banks. The number of Britons being forced to turn to one of the country’s food banks has also increased by 40 per cent this year compared to last year, according to statistics from the charity The Trussell Trust. Many of these are single parents.One out of ten in this one group has visited a food bank in the last two months – compared to three percent of the rest of the British. devastating health effects, according to Shona Goudie. “After food prices have skyrocketed, many families can barely afford to buy the food they need – and families living in financial hardship cannot afford to buy any healthy food. The result is that the children either go hungry or live on low-quality food, which leads to increasing obesity in this group,” she says. “The situation is very serious. There is help to be had, but we are worried that it will not be enough.”
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