Cost of living crisis: ‘Fifth of London children hungry’

Almost 500,000 children in London are at risk of malnutrition, data suggests (Picture: Alamy)

One in five children in London has gone hungry in the past month because their family is short of cash, a report says.

The findings mean almost half a ­million youngsters in the capital are at risk of malnutrition as food prices soar, said The Childhood Trust.

And the charity said up to 40 per cent of youngsters have suffered ‘food insecurity’ – classed by the United Nations as lacking regular and consistent access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development.

The findings were based on a random sample of 280 children aged between seven and 16. If extrapolated to cover the city’s population, this would suggest 426,500 children were running short of healthy supplies.

Describing the problem as shocking, The Childhood Trust’s chief, Laurence Guinness, said the government should launch ‘a rapid review into the scale and severity of child food poverty’.

Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves told Metro yesterday: ‘For some families, it’s a choice between putting food on the table and keeping the home warm.’

She said the government should have introduced a windfall tax on energy firms, raising ‘tens of billions’ of pounds to put towards household bills.

Meanwhile a separate survey for the Salvation Army found two-thirds of adults are worried about being able to afford Christmas dinner, with many planning to use items from food banks.

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