Teachers reported that parents were living off flavoured water and cereal so their children could eat during the holidays
ALMOST four million school children are at risk of going hungry over the holidays, Labour claimed yesterday.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said the worst affected would be the 1.1m children on free school meals with parents struggling to feed them.
But she warned there could be millions more at risk with 3.9m children across England living in poverty.
It came as the Department for Education admitted it has “made no assessment of the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during school summer holidays in 2017”.
Ms Rayner called it a “national disgrace” that millions of children across the country are at risk of going hungry this summer.
She said: “The Government has admitted it has no plans to assist children who are facing hunger during the school holidays.
“With the IFS forecasting that child poverty will rise to 5 million by 2022, Labour is demanding that the Government brings forward a new strategy to tackle child poverty.”
It comes as new analysis from the Trussell Trust showed an increase in the number of food packages being given to families over the summer.
Earlier this year a report by MPs and peers found the poorest children are living on a diet of crisps and “giving up” while playing football because their bodies are too weak.
The report detailed how one child was left sick after living entirely on packets of crisps in holiday time.
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In another case a group of children were forced to drop out of a holiday football tournament because they had not eaten a proper meal in the days leading up to the event.
Teachers said parents were staving off their own hunger by drinking flavoured water and eating cereal to give their children the best food they could during holidays.