30 Dec Holiday Hunger – What Are The Causes?
As the numbers of children going hungry through the school holidays in the UK rises, the introduction of harsher welfare reforms definitely seems to correlate with the rising number of low-income families struggling to make ends meet. Research has shown that under the current changes to welfare benefits, that more and more families are likely to fall into poverty which will hit children the hardest.
The Universal Credit reform has been widely criticised for plunging families further into debt, with barely enough to pay their bills let alone afford enough food to feed their families, and the fact that those hit the worst by this reform are from the poorest households in the UK makes the issue of overcoming holiday hunger that much more difficult.
Teachers have confirmed a rise in the number of children that are going hungry both during the holidays and term time, even reaching into their own pockets to help out those most in need, and they say that the welfare reforms have gone hand in hand with this rise.
In an article for the Independent, the Chief Executive of The Children’s Society is quoted as saying that “It is deeply worrying to see that hundreds of thousands of children have been hit by the new benefit cap, cutting the money needed to keep a roof over their heads.”
This reinforces the harsh reality that in many cases, families are faced with the difficult decision between paying their bills to keep a roof over their family and feeding their family.
Campbell Robb, the Chief Executive at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has also been quoted for the Independent, warning that “These shocking figures show the UK’s proud record of reducing child poverty is at risk of unravelling: it could mean an additional 1.2 million children in poverty by the end of the Parliament.”