Low income families in Glasgow will struggle to feed their children properly over the summer holidays according to a report in this week’s Evening Times. Around 30% of the city’s children are dependent on free school meals and the provision of these helps to ensure proper nourishment. The extra cost of feeding them during the school recess is expected to create problems for parents.
The explosion in food banks across the UK over the last 2 years is indicative of the dire state of family finances in the poorest homes. There are now 15 food banks across Glasgow as demand rises and they are expecting further increases in demand during the summer months.
The issue of food poverty amongst Glasgow families was raised at a meeting of Glasgow City Council last week, with Councillors approving a motion to demand answers from the UK Government on the rise of food poverty and the link that this may have to benefit sanctions and delays in paying benefits.
Almost two thirds of children living in poverty are from working households and as prices for energy, food and living costs continue to rise, wages and benefits have failed to keep up. Living standards are declining across the board – except for the wealthiest, whose incomes continue to rise.
Earlier this year, Kellogs published a report on food poverty, highlighting that many families are cutting back on nutritious food such as fruit, due to the expense.
Given the obesity crisis across the country and Government advice on healthy eating, the UK Government’s policies do not add up. Cheaper food is higher in fat, salt and calorific content than higher quality, nutritious food. When even large corporations such as Kellogs and Tesco express concern about food poverty, it is indicative of the UK Government’s austerity measures and benefit cuts which have gone too far.
Hard to Swallow: The facts about food poverty