A HUNGER crisis which is impacting thousands of Barnsley children every day must end before demand outweighs supply, according to an MP.
Barnsley East representative Stephanie Peacock spoke out after she revealed foodbanks in the town have reported a 46 per cent increase in kids needing support.
She met with Magic Breakfast, an organisation which provides healthy breakfasts at schools to children who are deemed to be at risk of food poverty, and do so at the Forest Academy in Kendray, Hoyland Springwood Primary School and Worsbrough Common Primary School, which fall under Ms Peacock’s constituency.
More than 3,000 children in the constituency are currently eligible for free school meals, rising to 8,000 across the whole borough.
She said: “I was pleased to meet with Magic Breakfast recently.
“Magic Breakfast do excellent work across the country to ensure that children have enough to eat in the morning before school.
“As a former teacher, I know how important it is that children are not too hungry to learn.
“Families in Barnsley and across the country are struggling under the strain of poverty and food insecurity.
“With over 15,000 children living in poverty in Barnsley and foodbanks reporting a 46 per cent rise in children needing food parcels, the work Magic Breakfast does is vital in our community.
“In Barnsley East, 25 per cent of under-15s live in poverty - this is a shocking statistic - a quarter of children in our local area are growing up in poverty.”
A total of 90 per cent of Barnsley foodbanks have reported an increase in demand, and providers are worried that if demand continues to rise, they might have to cut support, or even turn people away.
Children in the north of England are more likely to be in poverty than the rest of England, and 20,798 households in Barnsley are fuel poor.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, child poverty is at the highest it has been since 2001.
“Regional inequalities in poverty like these are more likely to have detrimental impacts on children’s mental and physical health, education, and prospects of moving out of poverty in the future,” Ms Peacock added.
“Families who were struggling before the cost-of-living crisis are unable to cut costs any more than they already have.
“People with no previous police records are being caught stealing food and other essentials.
“We know that to reduce food poverty, we need to reduce overall poverty rates.
“The Conservatives have had a chance to rectify their mistakes.
“They have failed, and people across the country are suffering for it.”