Poverty forces many Australian children to skip meals

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Canberra, April 15 (IANS) More than 20 per cent of Australian children have gone hungry in the last 12 months, according to a report released on Sunday.

The survey of 1,000 parents, released by Foodbank, found that 22 per cent of Australian children under the age of 15 live in a household that ran out of food at some point in the past 12 months, reports Xinhua news agency.

It also found that one in five children went to school without eating breakfast at least once a week and one in 10 went a whole day without eating anything at least once a week.

“I think that’s a very sad indictment on us as a society,” Dave McNamara, CEO of Foodbank Victoria, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC).

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“The most vulnerable in our community – our children, our future – are suffering and I don’t think that’s right, I don’t think anyone thinks that’s right.”

Children are more likely to go without food than adults, the survey found, but 29 per cent of parents said they went without food for a whole day at least once per week so their children could eat.

“Some kids were eating paper. Their parents had told them ‘There’s not enough food, if you get hungry you’ll need to chew paper’,” McNamara said.

The report identified the cost of living as the main reason that parents were struggling to feed their children.

–IANS

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