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British schools warn of 'heartbreaking' rise in hungry childrenUK cost of living crisis

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School principals across England are reporting that children are hungry, eating rubber or hiding in playgrounds. Because I can’t afford to buy lunch.

The principal says the government will leave the school to deal with the growing crisis. That message is amplified by a new survey on food poverty in schools, due to be released next month by Chefs in Schools, a healthy eating charity that trains chefs in school kitchens. Many schools in the UK are seeing a ‘heartbreaking’ increase in hungry children even before winter and high utility bills force them to choose between turning on the heating or buying food. became clear.

A child at a school in Lewisham, South East London, “pretends to eat from an empty lunchbox” because he is not eligible for free school meals and does not want his friends to know there is no food at school. told the charity about House.

Community food aid groups also said Observer This week, they’re struggling to meet new demands from families who can’t afford to feed their children, said Naomi Duncan, CEO of Chefs in Schools. “Kids are coming in who haven’t eaten anything since lunch the day before. The government has to do something.”

In England, all infants have free school meals from start to second grade. But more than that, only children whose parents earn less than £7,400 a year are eligible, and according to the Child Poverty Action Group, the 800,000,000 children living in poverty are missing out.

Many of the schools Duncan’s charity works with are raiding already overstretched budgets to feed hungry children who don’t qualify for free school meals. We want every child in our household to qualify. The same is true for teachers’ unions.

“For our chefs, this is really heartbreaking. Told.

Duncan said the study found that teachers are buying toasters so they can serve breakfast to hungry, distracted children. A school in Streatham, south of London, used to have a hardship fund where he supported 50 children, but now he supports 100 children.

Paul Gosling, president of the National Principals Guild, said: However, it is not right to leave it without additional support. ”

He said helping desperate families, with huge utility bills and wage increases for underfunded teachers, would push hundreds of schools into the red. However, they expressed concern that the cap was only offered for six months, with many schools far more than budgeted. We warned that we would be leaving with a high bill.

Parents have asked if the school will offer a free breakfast club or an after-school club with meals, said Will Teeth, principal of Leicester secondary school Brookvale Groby Learning Campus.

He warns:

Oxford Mutual Aid, a community group that delivers emergency food parcels, shortens delivery days as hundreds of volunteer packers, drivers and organizers are unable to meet increased calls for assistance, including regular referrals from elementary schools I had to.

Coordinator Muireann Meehan Speed ​​said: Every day we hear about the levels people are suffering. Every day I talk to scared families who don’t know where to turn. But you can’t do more than you already do. ”

This group hears daily from locals who have never been able to afford food before. “They don’t have a choice to heat or eat. They can’t afford to do either,” she said.

Craig Johnson, founder of Launch Foods, a charity that provides free lunches to 300 schoolchildren in Glasgow each day, said: We are already in danger.”

The charity, which sends silver trucks to primary schools and uses surplus food to feed everyone ‘without prejudice’, has received daily calls from people in Newcastle, Liverpool, London and elsewhere, making the web I had to remove my phone number from the site. If only they could help feed the children in their area.

“It’s so frustrating to tell people we can’t help them,” Johnson said. mistaken.”

Michelle Donely, founder of Children with Voices, a charity that feeds families in three mansions in Hackney, east London, said she struggled to address “different levels of needs”.

Not only are the children regularly going to bed hungry, she worries about their increased anxiety levels. All of that is affecting their self-esteem and their confidence is really waning.”

Donnelly, who also holds Universal Credit herself, worries that her charity doesn’t have enough storage space or freezers, and how much it’s costing her female volunteers. But I am angry that we are being forced to do this without government help,” she said.

“Members of Parliament should come to the city of Hackney and find out what’s going on.”