Shocking report shows even grandparents go hungry to feed children
A Birkenhead boy threw up while playing football after eating just two packs of crisps all day, according to a shocking report on children going hungry.
The report said growing numbers of children are underfed or malnourished during school holidays, when cash-strapped parents struggle to afford the extra meals and childcare.
Some Wirral parents and even grandparents sometimes go without food to keep their children fed and pay for other essentials, according to a Birkenhead school governor quoted in the report. The Croxteth Gems youth centre revealed some children were so hungry they ate two or three breakfasts and dinners.
Nadine Daniel, head of the Liverpool Hope+ Foodbank, said she and other emergency food providers had noticed rising holiday demand and expected it to grow again this summer.
The research, led by Birkenhead MP Frank Field and the parliamentary group on hunger, suggested some parents resorted to junk food because it was all they could afford or they could not cook. It highlighted a young person who vomited during a free sports and food programme in Birkenhead run by Wirral Positive Futures and the Street Games charity. When a member of staff asked the boy what he had eaten that day before the evening football session, he replied that he had eaten just a packet of crisps for breakfast and lunch.
It also said a group of children at a Feeding Birkenhead holiday meals event all headed to the table full of fresh fruit – rather than a table with cakes and biscuits. It said: “They had had enough of the sporadic, unhealthy snacks on which they had been surviving at home. Some families are surviving on cheap, stodgy food that temporarily keeps hunger at bay without necessarily giving children and parents the nutrients their bodies need. It is the additional demands placed on budgets of families on low incomes – from food, fuel, activities, childcare – at those times of year that lower children into the clutches of hunger.”