Recent research, carried out by food poverty charities the Trussell Trust and FairShare, in association with supermarket Tesco, found parents either skipped meals or resorted to asking friends and families for food in the last year.
The research discovered that one-in-five parents in Britain have skipped meals in order to feed their children, with many relying so heavily on schools and charities to feed their children that kids could go hungry in the school holidays.
The research has found that 70% of families suffering from food poverty with children in primary school education rely in some part on food supplied by schools, either through free school meals or food given out by breakfast or after school clubs.
More than 25% of parents suffering from some form of food poverty said they were unable to provide food for all the meals their children need during the summer break.
More than four in five parents in food poverty worry that they will struggle to provide nutritious food for their children in the near future and more than 50% of these parents have gone without food to feed their family, with a quarter of doing so on a weekly basis or more often.
And only a third of people currently suffering from food poverty expect their situation to improve in the next twelve months.
Trussell Trust the largest network of foodbanks in the UK have recently seen the biggest ever increase in numbers – almost 350,000 people received three days emergency food in 2012-13, 170 per cent more than the previous year.
The Stevenage Community Foodbank has seen a rise in demand for its services over the last nine months. “Demand always peaks during the school holidays as the safety net of free school meals is lost. We are seeing parents at the foodbank who have gone hungry so their children can eat. The holiday period stretches their budgets to breaking point”, John Mead chairman of the Stevenage Community Foodbank said. “Demand for the service is out stripping the level of donations, we hope the two food drives planned for August will help us help those in need