A new study by Kellogg’s, ‘Is the Food Divide Getting Bigger?’, has found that a fifth (22%) of adults are worried about the amount of money they have to spend on food at the end of the month.
This figure stands at 33% among families with primary school children.
The report reveals that the food poverty rate among lowest income households is as high as 11%, while only 4% of highest income groups cite food poverty as an issue. Evidently, lower income families are not seeing any improvement, despite economic improvement, and there is a danger that those marginalised will remain behind.
Some of the more shocking statistics came from school teachers with 53% of those surveyed citing that some of their pupils arrive at school hungry at least once a week. Further still, 77% of teachers said the number of children coming to school hungry has increased in the last year.
36%of parents have mentioned concerns over their ability to make their food budget stretch to the end of the week, while 20% struggle to fund their family food budget over the weekend. One in five households with children has even had to change their eating habits due to financial constraints.
Commenting on the findings, report contributor, economist Jim Power said: “This report demonstrates that food affordability and food poverty are still issues for many. The overall trend in expenditure on food has reduced since 2008, from a high of €7.95 billion, reflecting the fact that many people have suffered income losses and quite simply do not have as much money to spend on food - or anything else for that matter.”
The report outlines a number of measures which would address the issue of food poverty among those affected. It says that policy makers must now work with NGO’s to address Food Poverty and material deprivation in a meaningful way. The report is of the opinion that food banks and local charities require greater support. Further funding must be given to school meals programmes and education in schools should be focused on food education.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan