Britain's poorest children are being plunged further into poverty by the coalition's ruthless austerity cuts, leading children's charity Save the Children warned today.
The charity announced that for the first time in its 93-year history it had launched a fundraising campaign to help impoverished children in Britain.
Save the Children, which traditionally focuses on developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America said that levels of poverty in Britain were "tearing families apart."
In a new report entitled It Shouldn't Happen Here it said that one in eight of the poorest children go without at least one hot meal a day, while one in 10 of the poorest parents have cut back on food for themselves to make sure their children have enough to eat.
As children head back to school for the new term, one in seven of the poorest surveyed said they have to go without a warm winter coat and new shoes when they need them.
Nearly a fifth of children living in poverty say they miss out on school trips because their parents haven't got the money while 80 per cent of parents admitted that they were borrowing more money for essentials such as food and clothing.
The charity spoke to more than 1,500 youngsters and 5,000 parents in conducting their research.
Save the Children is aiming to raise £500,000 to help fund its work in Britain, targeting the poorest children.
The charity's chief executive Justin Forsyth said: "No child should see their parent going hungry or start the new term without a warm coat and with holes in their shoes.
"Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money.
"That's why for the first time in our history we are launching a UK appeal. We need to help poor families survive the recession"
He added: "Given that most children living in poverty have at least one parent in work. It is appalling that those parents can't earn enough to give themselves and their kids a decent life.
"All working parents should be able to earn enough to meet the basic needs of their children. The government must make work pay by encouraging more employers to introduce a living wage, provide extra child care support to help parents trying to get into work and protect the poorest and most disadvantaged from further cuts."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "Despite £150bn being poured into benefits and tax credits over the last decade, the previous government's approach to tackling child poverty has failed with the UK missing its own 2010 child poverty targets.
"The government remains committed to eradicating child poverty, but we want to take a new approach by tackling the root causes including worklessness, educational failure and family breakdown."
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