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Some 41% of parents have said that they have skipped meals or reduced portions so that their children would have enough to eat, a survey from Aldi and Barnardos has shown.

The latest Barnardos and Aldi Ireland Food Insecurity Research, launched today, reveals the prevalence of food insecurity in Ireland.

The research shows that the percentage of parents skipping meals or reducing portion sizes has increased by 12%, compared to 2022.

Some 24% of parents revealed that they have had to borrow money to feed their children in the last year. This figure has gone up by 13% since January 2022.

Cost-Of-Living Crisis

The survey, conducted by Coyne Research, found that some 45% of parents are always or sometimes worried about having enough food for the family.

This figure is up slightly from 2022 (42%) and more than double what it was two years ago (19%). The increase suggests that families are struggling with cost-of-living pressures.

Of the 45% of parents worried about having enough food, half (50%) said that they were ‘stressed’, 26% feel ‘guilty’, and 17% said that they are scared to ask for help.

In order to pay for food, parents reported cutting back on clothes, medical costs, transport costs, and household bills.

Healthy Eating

In the past year, there has also been an increased interest in healthy eating.

Some 88% of those surveyed said that healthy or nutritious food is important in their decision-making – up by 9% since last year.

More than three quarters (76%) said that their family often eats a main daily meal together. Some 94% said that they aim to give their children fresh fruit and vegetables every day.

Making Food Poverty History

Suzanne Connolly, the chief executive of Barnardos, said that the results reflect what the charity sees every day, and that parents are being faced with difficult decisions.

Connolly said, “A lack of nutritious meals has an impact on the emotional and mental well-being of both child and parent for a long time to come – because childhood lasts a lifetime.”

Niall O’Connor, the group managing director of Aldi Ireland, said that the retailer was committed to helping the charity.

O’Connor reiterated the retailer’s commitment to affordable prices and its goal of making food poverty history by raising €2 million.

Source
https://www.checkout.ie/retail/aldi-research-shows-41-of-parents-have-skipped-meals-to-feed-children-208679

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