More than 25,000 children in Sheffield are living in poverty, a new report has claimed.
A report going to health bosses on Thursday says almost one-third of children under 10 in the city are defined as living in poverty.
It has warned problems are likely to increase as a result of the city’s benefit income being cut by £169m through welfare reforms - with some single parent families set to lose over £2,000 per year.
The report details the new strategy to tackle child poverty in Sheffield between now and 2018.
It said there are now 16 food banks in Sheffield, while city schools have reported having to feed children who have not had breakfast.
The report has been created by the city’s Tackling Poverty Partnership Reference Group, which is chaired by Dean of Sheffield Cathedral Peter Bradley and includes representatives from Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and other local organisations.
The report said: “Poverty and inequality are scars on our city. Around one in five Sheffield people live in poverty at any one time and the latest data showed that there are around 25,705 children of all ages and almost a third of all children under 10 in Sheffield currently living in poverty.
“Almost two‐thirds of the financial impact of the Government’s welfare reforms will be felt by families with children. Poverty harms them ‐ both now and for the future ‐ and harms our whole community.”
The report defines poverty as people who do not have enough to meet their minimum needs - and gave examples of factors such as not having enough to eat, living in poor-quality accommodation and not being able to afford childcare.
It said 125,000 people in Sheffield live in areas that are ranked as being in the most deprived 10 per cent of the country.
The report said welfare reforms are having a ‘significant impact’, with 4,000 families in the city affected by the bedroom tax.
It has laid out plans to ensure ‘the most damaging and degrading elements of poverty are eliminated’ in Sheffield.
Proposals include expanding use of the Sheffield Credit Union to reduce reliance on high-interest payday loans and increasing the supply of affordable housing.