A study reported in the BBC by St Mary’s University, looking at pupils that receive free school meals, has concluded that such figures cannot be used to indicate levels of child poverty. It is suggested that such measures ignore the ‘working poor’ – families that are in employment but are still facing hardship – as these are often ineligible for free meals. Professor Bullivant, heading the research, had this to say:
“Many families face precarious lives and are struggling to make ends meet, but will not show up in free meals figures... class inequality is a real problem in Britain affecting children’s attainment. This data fails to understand different degrees of poverty”.
The research affirms current figures: A quarter of children in the UK are growing up in poverty, the number now reaching a record four million (the highest since the financial crash in 2008). More than two-thirds of these children have at least one parent working. This is why Foodinate is fighting to make a real and sustainable impact: hunger doesn’t just affect the homeless, but working people too.
Learn more about the issues and the work done by the Child Poverty Action Group here.