A new report has found a significant jump in the number of Irish parents who said they did not have enough food to feed their children, as the cost of living crisis intensifies.
The survey, carried out by Coyne Research for the charity Barnardos and grocery retailer Aldi Ireland, also found that large numbers of parents were skipping meals or reducing portion size so that children would have enough to eat.
The findings come in the wake of news from data company Kantar that grocery price inflation hit 16.3% – the highest level seen since the company started tracking grocery inflation.
Irish households will now face an extra €1,159 on their annual shopping bills if they don’t change their behaviour to cut costs, Kantar said.
The Barnardos survey found that 29pc of parents said they sometimes or occasionally worry about being able to provide their children with enough food, compared to last year’s figure of 19pc – a significant increase of almost 50%
The research found that over one in seven parents said they had regularly been unable to afford a main meal for their family.
One in 10 parents said they had used food banks or received a food donation over the previous 12 months – more than double the number from the previous survey.
1,000 adults aged 18-plus were interviewed for the research.
Soaring energy and food bills are putting families under tremendous pressure, with more than one in eight surveyed saying they were always worrying about having enough food to feed their children.
The survey showed that almost three in 10 parents had skipped meals or reduced portion sizes so that their children would have enough to eat. Almost half said they were forced to cut down on spending on clothes to provide their children with food.
Barnardos said it is concerned about the toll soaring bills are having on families’ mental health.
CEO Suzanne Connolly said: “We see far too many families, often one-parent families, really worried about being able to provide their children with enough food.”
The sector growth comes as grocery price inflation hit 16.3% – the highest level seen since Kantar started tracking grocery inflation. However, this does trail just behind Great Britain where inflation hit 16.7% after two months of slight decline. Irish households will now face an extra €1,159 on their annual shopping bills if they don’t change their behaviour to cut costs.