Close to four million United Kingdom (UK) children live in families that struggle to buy veggies, fruits, and other healthy foods, as per a recent Food Foundation report. In fact, the analysis revealed that the poorest fifth of households in the country would need to spend approximately 42 percent of their income (after housing income) in order to meet the guideline set out by the government, which equals to close to four times what the 20 percentile of richest UK families need.
The report goes on to state that this inability to pay for healthy food for low-income families increases chances around diabetes and obesity. It also continues to enhance the gap when it comes to healthy inequality.
CNN reported that the report is placing a call for action to the UK government to come up with a solution to this crisis by raising benefit payments, offering food vouchers for low-income moms, and providing universal- free meals at school. A bill around the need for UK governments to measure food insecurity gains its second reading come next month.
This Food Foundation report is released as kiddos in the UK go back to school, after a summer where ‘holiday hunger’ has been seen as an ever-growing issue. The summer school break brings major issues for some families, with a large portion of them unable to make more than one hot meal daily. In fact, three million UK kids hit risks around hunger during the summer months and food bank usage has increased, as per the most recent numbers offered by the non-for-profit Feeding Britain.
Food bank network, Trussell Trust, has stated it has given out over 1.3 million emergency food supplies, which spans three days, to those in crisis from April of last year to March of this year. This marks a 13 percent increase from the same time the previous year. Close to one-third of those emergency food supplies were given to kids.
The United Kingdom ranked 34th when it came to food security, out of 41 richer nations, within a 2017 Unicef report. The organization defines insecurity as an inability to secure access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food, which ensures normal development and growth, in addition to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Close to 20 percent of kids under 15 years of age deal with food insecurity in the UK. This places the country well over the 12.7 percent average for more prosperous countries, as per Unicef. The UK also hit 15th spot (out of 41) when it comes to well-being and health; 16th for tackling poverty; sixth for decreasing inequalities; and 31st when it comes to economic growth.