Parents who go without food to feed their children reveal Barnardo’s account of the pressure on the cost of living
The cost of living crisis is causing many parents to skip meals or reduce portion sizes to ensure their children have enough to eat.
Nine per cent of parents surveyed said they don’t have enough food to feed their children, according to the study, which was commissioned by national children’s charity Barnardos and leading food retailer Aldi Ireland.
The survey, conducted by Coyne Research, found that more than one in seven parents said they regularly couldn’t afford a main meal for their family or children.
A nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and over was interviewed.
One in five parents reported not having had enough food to feed their children at some point in the past year.
The survey was conducted to examine both the prevalence and impact of food poverty in Ireland. It is the second survey on this topic. The latest survey found that food poverty has become a bigger problem.
It turns out that more and more parents are concerned about their ability to provide their children with enough nutrition. More than one in eight said they worry about it all the time. Another 29 percent of parents said they sometimes or occasionally worry about not being able to provide their children with enough food. This is more than last year’s figure of 19 percent.
More than one in seven parents stated that they regularly cannot afford a main meal for their family.
Nearly three in 10 parents – 29 percent – said they skipped meals or reduced portion sizes so their children had enough to eat, a significant increase from 24 percent in January last year.
About four out of ten parents feed their children always or mostly from themselves.
Barnardos said demand for his services has increased significantly.
It is concerned about the soaring bills that are affecting families’ mental health.
Almost half of those surveyed said they needed to reduce their spending on clothing to feed their children. And half of the parents surveyed said inflation has had a negative impact on the pressure to afford groceries.
One in 10 parents said they had used food banks or received a food donation in the last 12 months. That’s more than double the number from the previous survey.
And more and more children are living in institutions, where parents are increasingly dependent on vouchers from voluntary organizations or food packages from friends and family to feed their children adequately.
Suzanne Connolly, CEO of Barnardos said: “These findings align with Barnardos’ experience of working with vulnerable children and families in communities across Ireland.
“We see far too many families, often single parents, who are really concerned about being able to feed their children enough.”
Ms Connolly said parents told Barnardos they often forego food themselves to feed their children. Their hunger, or that of their child, is a constant and physical reminder of the financial pressures parents face, she said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/parents-going-without-food-to-feed-their-children-barnardos-report-on-cost-of-living-pressures-reveals-42332458.html Parents who go without food to feed their children reveal Barnardo’s account of the pressure on the cost of living