A report into food poverty has found that a third of children in London struggle to pay attention in class because of hunger.
The 'Child Hunger in London – Understanding Food Poverty in the Capital' report claims that a staggering 55 per cent of parents said their ability to afford food had worsened over the past 12 months.
The London 24 website reports that the independent study – which was undertaken by the London Food Board and research company Ipsos MORI – polled more than 500 parents and 500 children across London. Those surveyed came from families at all income levels.
Rosie Boycott, chair of the London Food Board, commissioned the survey. She said the issues of food poverty had to be tackled.
"It is an unacceptable fact in 21st century London that there are children who are going hungry and that families are struggling to access good food," she said. "So it is more important than ever that we build a consensus to tackle food poverty while understanding more about the complex range of factors that contribute towards the problem."
She admitted the shocking findings made for 'difficult reading' but said she hoped it would 'encourage further collaboration' between key agencies to help improve our food culture.
"We need innovative solutions that empower people and it's clear that schools have a particularly influential role to play," she said. "This is why the Mayor and I are working on a range of initiatives to improve school meals and to make the cooking and growing of food an integral part of school life. This will help to ensure that kids growing up now have the skills and the mind-set they need to feed their own families good food in the future."
Researchers also found that for 10 per cent of children, their school dinner is their main meal of the day, and that nine per cent (or some 74,000 children across London) claim they 'sometimes' or 'often' go to bed hungry.