Increase in low earners needing help to feed families

LOW earners in the region are increasingly needing help to feed their families, a charity has warned.

Barnardo's says Christmas dinner may be a food parcel for many children this year.

The charity has reported an increase in young people and families needing food bank vouchers and food parcels around the region.

Barnardo’s North East director Steve Oversby said: “What we are seeing more of, are families who are not on benefits, needing to take the brave decision to come to us asking for food bank vouchers.

“These people are working, but on very low incomes which are not increasing, while the price of everything else and the general cost of living is going up.”

The charity pointed out that food prices had risen between 19 per cent and 47 per cent from 2007 to 2012.

Mr Oversby added: “There are also less benefits available to those on low income, who are now starting to struggle as their wages are not keeping pace with increases in the cost of food and fuel.

“Local food banks are confirming what we are experiencing as they are seeing it as well.”

Food poverty unwrapped: When Christmas dinner is a food parcel, a national survey of Barnardo’s services examining families’ growing use of emergency food schemes, found that 94 per cent of projects were reporting an increased or high demand for food banks or vouchers in the past year.

The charity has warned that vulnerable children may increasingly face spending Christmas day hungry.

The warning comes after a study by the National Housing Federation last week revealed an increase in the number of working families in the region claiming housing benefit.

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