Parents skip meals to feed children over summer


A new report released today by the Trussell Trust has revealed that a fifth of parents will skip a meal during the summer holidays so that their children can eat.

The survey of almost 1,000 parents showed that two in five parents are worried about extra costs they will incur during the school summer holidays. The Trussell Trust estimates that almost 1.5 million people could skip a meal in the coming weeks and is launching a national programme of holiday clubs, offering activities and food to parents and children.

The research echoes our recent findings that two-fifths (42%) of parents are worried about spending more on food for their children over the six-week break. Over a third (36%) are concerned about the impact of the summer holidays on their ability to pay household bills and expenses and one in six (15%) will have to borrow money through credit cards, overdrafts or loans during this time.

Trussell Trust comment

Adrian Curtis, Foodbank Network Director of the Trussell Trust, said: “Families who rely on free school meals during term time can find themselves facing hunger in the school holidays, when there is added financial pressure to provide main meals. No one knows the full scale of hunger in the school holidays yet but these figures make one thing clear: many families are closer to crisis than we think.

“Foodbanks already provide additional help to families who struggle to put food on the table outside of term time and our summer pilot of holiday clubs is a crucial step in broadening the support offered by foodbanks in the holidays. But foodbanks alone will not end hunger during the school holidays; a long-term coordinated solution between government, businesses, schools and charities will have the most impact.”

Find support

We’re encouraging parents who are worried about making ends meet this summer to check their eligibility for additional financial support.

Our Benefits Calculator can help you check your entitlement to welfare benefits and tax credits and you can use our Grants Search to check your eligibility for a grant and other support from over 3,000 charitable funds. We also have information on help with childcare costs and other support available to parents in our Bringing up a Child section.

For more information about the Trussell Trust report and holiday clubs, please visit the Trussell Trust website.

Source: Daily Mirror, 25 July 2016: A fifth of parents will skip a meal during summer holidays so kids can eat