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Over half of teachers surveyed see kids arriving hungry at school

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 18/05/2015. Over half of teachers surveyed see kids arriving hungry at schoolTags: Education And Politics Parenting

According to a new report issued today by Kellogg's, one third of Irish families with primary school children worry about their food costs while one in five families have had to change their eating habits due to financial constraints.

The report has surfaced only a month after 'Healthy Food for All' claimed that 20% of children were going to bed hungry.

Kellogg's report called “Is the Food Divide Getting Bigger?”, reveals that the food poverty rate among lowest income households is as high as 11 per cent while only 4 per cent of highest income groups cite food poverty as an issue. The report states that while it is clear that the economic indicators in Ireland are robust, " it is evident that many segments of Irish society are still under siginifcant pressure. This is particularly the case for those individuals and families who have been identified in the research as being in greatest risk of food poverty, those for whom the economic markers such as a rise in employment, may have only little effect".

Teachers are also seeing the impact of food poverty in their schools, with over half of those surveyed noticing children arriving at school hungry at least once a week. More shockingly, the report shows that 137,000 Irish adults may have resorted to going without food in order to feed their children.

Commenting on the findings of the report June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said “We see parents struggling daily to provide enough food for their family and know parents often sacrifice having meals themselves to ensure their children are fed.  Arriving to school hungry affects children’s behaviour and mood impacting on their ability to learn and enjoy interactions with classmates and teachers. "

The report suggests a number of measures which could help to address the issues of food pverty which include:

**Policy makers must now work with NGO’s to address Food Poverty and material deprivation in a meaningful way

**Greater support is required for food banks and local charities

**The school meals programme need further  funding to ensure that schools in areas of need can meet demand, through breakfast clubs and school lunches

**Education in schools has to be is focussed on food education  and the importance of teaching cooking skills

*Industry has a role to play in finding collective solutions to food poverty.

Jim McNeill, Managing Director of Kellogg’s in Ireland said: “Kellogg’s is committed to doing all it can to help to tackle food poverty and to support communities at risk."

In 2015, Kellogg’s will be donating 2 million servings of cereal to children and families in Ireland through their partnerships with Barnardos and Crosscare.


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