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20% of kids go to bed hungry according to new report

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 15/04/2015. 20% of kids go to bed hungry according to new reportTags: Parenting

One in five Irish kids will go to bed hungry tonight according to new figures released at a conference today hosted by Healthy Food for All who are an all-island charity addressing food poverty by promoting access, availability and affordability of healthy food for low-income groups.

Healthy Food For All claim that 20% of kids in Ireland go to bed hungry and that 600,000 people are experiencing problems with food poverty.

Ms Keenan, Healthy Food for All’s Project Co-ordinator, explains that schools provide an important platform to tackle food poverty among children. “The Government is providing almost €40 million this year under the School Meals Programme to 850 DEIS schools. However, over 100 of these schools cannot avail of these monies because they don’t have the necessary facilities in place to prepare and serve food nor the trained personnel.
Today, we’re asking the Government – through the Department of Education and Skills – to provide a once-off investment package of €500,000 in 2016 which would ensure that all DEIS schools have the required infrastructure in place to provide a healthy meal to their students.”

In addition to ensuring that all DEIS schools provide school meals , the charity is also seeking additional funding from the Dept of Education to help fund their School Meals Program ‘to ensure there is at least one Community Food Initiative in each county.’

According to their site, Sinead Keenan, Healthy Food for All’s Project Co-ordinator, explains that food poverty is a growing problem in Ireland with the numbers experiencing food poverty rising from 10% of the population in 2010 to 13.2% in 2013 – this represents an increase from 450,000 people to over 600,000 in that three-year period.

“Food poverty is a serious problem for children and young people with one in five going to school or bed hungry because there is not enough food in their home. Indeed, a report published in 2012 shows that one in six school-aged children report that they never eat a breakfast on a weekday.” Sinead Keenan says.

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