Youth club workers are having to feed growing numbers of hungry children in Sheffield, a community leader has revealed.
Ken Curran, chairman of Manor Assembly community forum, said for the past six months around 20 children a week in the Manor area have been provided with hot meals they would otherwise not be getting.
He said children aged as young as eight up to teenagers were receiving the meals.
The former Labour councillor said rising prices were causing increasing problems with families struggling to feed themselves and he has now written to Prime Minister David Cameron about the issue.
He said: “It started about six months ago when I was informed that the youth workers were having to feed kids that had come from school and they were ravenous.
“They started with crisps and stuff like that and realised the needs were greater than that.
“It is largely down to the cutbacks that have been taking place having an effect on families.
“Prices have gone up substantially and there has been a huge increase in people’s cost of living.”
Mr Curran said he decided to write to Mr Cameron after publication of a report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.
The commission forecasts 3.5 million children will be in absolute poverty by 2020 – almost five times the number needed to meet the government’s legal obligation to end child poverty by that year. It concludes ‘the government lacks any credible plan to get back on track’.
Mr Curran’s letter to the PM says: “While we try to ensure nobody goes home hungry, our support is no substitute for families feeding their children.
“Something is radically wrong in a country in which children are going hungry.
“This is a sad reflection upon the quality of our democracy and political system where some of our children are actually underfed. Feeding our children has to be the highest priority of the Government.”