Hungry children from families too poor to eat are being taught cookery at school on Fridays so they have food to take home for the weekend. This is from the Mail on Sunday…
Shocking figures have also revealed the number of Britons relying on emergency food handouts has soared to record levels – with charities warning the grim situation is going to get worse.
One in seven children regularly go without a hot meal, according to the Unite union, and in Bradford, West Yorkshire, a handful of schools are getting pupils to cook a high-carbohydrate, nutritious meal before heading home for the weekends.
Ralph Berry, who chairs the city’s Child Poverty Board, said teachers had been noticing that children were underweight and urged other schools to follow suit.
He added: ‘It is an impact of rising poverty really. It’s a small thing that can help. People are sharing these ideas. We are trying to get schools to look at any steps they can to impact on poverty.’
The Trussell Trust, which runs a nationwide network of 270 foodbanks, said nearly 110,000 people turned to it for help between April and September – compared to 128,697 over the last financial year.
The organisation is expecting to feed more than 200,000 hungry mouths by the end of this financial year, with food prices likely to rise further and fuel bills increase by nearly 10%.
The worrying figures follow Prime Minister David Cameron’s insistence that the economy is picking up.
Unite claims people are borrowing an average of £325 a month to pay for essentials, such as food and housing, while Oxfam estimates one in three children and 13 million people are living in poverty in the UK.
The Trussell Trust’s executive chairman, Chris Mould, said the rising cost of food and fuel, combined with static incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits is responsible for the soar in demand at foodbanks – , which provide three days food to people in crisis.
He said: ‘The Trussell Trust has seen first-hand the devastating impact of rising food prices on people in poverty.
‘It means that the budgets of people on the breadline are stretched even further so that even a small change in financial circumstances can push people into a crisis where they cannot afford food.’