Church calls for action on child hunger

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A UNICEF report has found that children in the UK are more likely to go hungry than in other European countries.

The report found that one in five children in the United Kingdom is at risk of hunger compared to an average of one in eight in other wealthy countries.

The UK scored 34th out of 41 countries  on the report’s food insecurity index.

Reverend  Martin Johnstone, secretary of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, chaired the Scottish Government’s independent working group on food poverty, called for the government to take action to reduce child poverty .

‘It is a scandal that an estimated one in five children in the UK are at risk of going hungry because of poverty. These are not simply statistics; they represent children with names, faces and all too often empty stomachs.

‘Foodbanks, breakfast clubs and community meals do a spectacular job trying to alleviate this crisis but we need to recognise that the fundamental problem is about the lack of money that families have to feed themselves.

‘It is estimated that increasing child benefit by £5 per week would mean that 30,000 fewer children in Scotland would have to grow up in poverty. Surely this is the sort of bold and courageous leadership that these children need and deserve.’