Speaking following the publication of a survey that revealed 20% of teachers have seen an increase in the number of children arriving to school hungry this year, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien said that the government needs to radically change its attitude to social policy.
The Cork North Central TD said;
“It is simply unacceptable to have this number of children going to school hungry, 39% of teachers have taken food in to school for hungry children according to the Lost Education survey.
“It has long been a common feature of underfunded schools where teachers bought classroom supplies from their own money because the school budget didn’t stretch, we cannot allow a situation to continue where teachers are now feeding the poorest children.
“The government appears to be quite happy to allow this situation to continue.
“We have called for the introduction of a school meals programme in every school, but this does not address the very real poverty that some families are in where they cannot afford to feed their children when they are at home.
“A quarter of all children are now living below the poverty line and charitable organisations are expected to pick up the slack where the government have literally abandoned children.
“Sinn Féin is calling on the government to change its approach to social policy so that families are no longer forced to live in poverty.”