One in three calls to SVP related to food poverty

The Society of St Vincent De Paul says that one in three calls it receives are related to food poverty.

SVP spends between €11m to €12m per year helping households with the cost of food.

Dr. Tricia Keilthy, SVP Head of Social Justice said: “Our experience shows that food is an area of expenditure that families have discretion over on a day-to-day basis.

"It is much easier to control the cost of food than the cost of rent, utilities or education for example. So food is typically what families cut back on when times are tough. Rising housing costs means that this is increasingly the case.”

According to research from the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice, the average cost of a healthy food basket for a two parent household with two school aged children living in urban area is €146 per week, compared to €160 for the same type of household living in a rural area.

Data from the Survey of Income and Living Conditions estimates that 1 in 11 people in Ireland experience food poverty, which refers to the inability to afford or to have access to, food to make up a healthy diet.

"As well as the health impacts of a poor diet, we should also be concerned about the impacts of food poverty on children’s social, emotional and educational outcomes. When children go to school hungry it has an impact on their well-being, concentration and attention levels, behaviour, learning and motivation," Dr Kielthy said.

- Digital Desk

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