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Charity warns of thousands of South East children facing Christmas deprived of basics

'Secret Santa' aims to support vulnerable children through £10 donations. Picture credits: Action for Children

Action for Children have released figures, showing that 87,000 children under ten-years-old, across the region could go without warmth of fresh food this Christmas.

That equates to two primary school pupils for every class in the whole area and almost a million children in the UK.

The charity has launched their 'Secret Santa' project that supports the vulnerable children, though £10 donations.

New research from the charity, also shows parents below the breadline spend on average £2, to provide food for their children.

With most primary school meals in the UK costing £2.30, it means parents can barely afford lunch for their kids.

Action for Children says at least 50 of its services have provided foodbank support over the past year and will also host unofficial foodbanks over the festive season.

Action for Children’s Director for England, John Egan, said:

“No parent in the South East should have to face the awful prospect of their youngster sitting in the cold without a plate of food to eat at the end of a school day, or skip dinner themselves so their child has a meal.

“Politicians are telling us austerity has ended but every day at Action for Children our frontline services say child poverty levels are at the worst they can remember.

"While some families will spend the Christmas holidays putting their children to bed early to keep warm because they can’t afford to heat the house, for others it has become the norm to not have a winter coat, rely on foodbanks, or for their children to miss out on hot meals.

“The next Government must deliver ambitious policies to end child poverty and bring in a National Childhood Strategy to give all our children a safe and happy childhood.

"But until every family has enough money to keep their child warm and well fed, we will continue to help them.

"That’s why we’re asking the public to get behind our Secret Santa campaign to help us support our most vulnerable children, not just at Christmas but every day.”

 

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