Isolation and hunger: The impact of the school holidays on struggling families, research carried out by Kellogg’s and delivered to all 650 MPs in July, revealed that more than six out of 10 parents (62%) with household incomes of less than £25,000 aren’t always able to afford to buy food outside of term time.
The Kellogg’s study of 580 low and middle income parents* showed that holidays aren’t necessarily all fun and games for hard-up families.
Key findings of the research revealed:
- Almost a third (31%) of parents on lower incomes have skipped a meal so that their children could eat during the school holidays.
- Six out of 10 parents on less than £25,000 can’t always afford food in holidays.
- More than four out of 10 (41%) said they sometimes felt isolated during the holidays due to being unable to afford to go out and entertain their children.
- 46% said they stayed in the house more often than in term-time.
- 14% said they’d served slightly smaller meals to their family to keep costs down, and 3% said the entire family had to skip a meal on at least one occasion.
- Almost four in 10 (38%) said they’d bought cheaper – and perhaps less healthy – food, and nearly a quarter (24%) prioritised food over paying a household bill.
- An alarming 22% said they had avoided having their children’s friends over, and 17% said they had even avoided inviting family to their house during the holidays due to a lack of money for food.
- One in 20 even said affording food in the holidays was a constant struggle.
Kellogg’s director Paul Wheeler said: “This summer there’ll be tens of thousands of parents going without meals so they can feed their kids.
“We are trying to help these parents by funding free holiday breakfast clubs across the UK. Those already open have proven to be a great success. That’s why we’ve invited politicians from all political parties to visit the clubs this summer to draw attention to this issue and demonstrate that there is help available.”
Lindsay Graham, Chair of the Holiday Hunger Task Group said: “We do not yet know the full scale of holiday hunger in the UK, but there are around 1.7million children who are eligible for free school meals who could go without that valuable daily meal this summer.”