Charity says Sheffield children face hungry Christmas

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SHEFFIELD children will go hungry this Christmas, a charity has warned.

Figures released by the charity Action for Children reveal more than two-thirds of managers at their 500 children’s projects nationally are seeing youngsters not having regular meals.

Jo Zasada, a services manager in Sheffield for Action for Children, said: “Through our family support work in Sheffield we see children who are not having meals on a regular basis, although more often it is their parents who go without.

“Parents are struggling to make ends meet and prioritise other household costs, such as energy bills, above food.

“We are now working with two food banks in the area, making weekly referrals.

“This has increased significantly over the past year. For the first time in my career, I am receiving regular requests for food parcels.

“We offer workshops on budgeting and healthy eating which are extremely popular with local parents.

“It is more time consuming to eat well - I think this is something parents really struggle with. Low cost, poor quality food is often more accessible and easy to turn to.

“Parents are very stressed about Christmas this year - we start to see the signs as soon as the summer holidays are over.

“We try to talk to parents about sensible giving. Christmas can create additional pressure for people struggling but desperately want to give their children special memories.”

Action for Children is providing emergency crisis support and working with families and young people to address the root causes of children going hungry.