‘They turn up with no shoes on’ The reality of child poverty

Food at Fit and Fed

A charity worker has told ITV News how she has witnessed Welsh children turning up to receive free food “with no shoes on”. It comes as new data shows people in Wales have the lowest average earnings in the UK – at £408 a week.

Rachel Carter from StreetGames – an anti poverty charity said, “Up in our Blaenau Gwent some young people came to our provision and they had no shoes on, they were dirty, they hadn’t eaten. They eat a pack of Doritos to last them a day”

“There’s one in three children in Wales living in poverty – I don’t know why that’s happening – there’s something that’s not right obviously”.

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Rachel Carter
Rachel Carter said she has witnessed severe poverty where she works

I have seen children taking tomato ketchup sachets home to make soup for their tea.

One child was given pasta and he had never tried it before.

You can see that they’ve got nothing – they are just trying to make the best of their lives.

1 in 3 Children are living in ‘relative poverty’
  • What is “relative poverty?”
  • Relative poverty means a household earns less than 60% of the UK median income.

The data, by the Department for Work & Pensions, also show a continuing rise of in-work poverty. More than half of children living in deprivation are living in households where at least one adult is employed.

Child poverty robs our young people of a proper childhood and destroys life chances before they’ve even begun.

Children in Wales are going to school hungry because of ideologically-driven cuts to social security.


Projects like Fit and Fed helps to combat ‘holiday hunger’ in some of the most deprived communities in Wales.


The Welsh Government said it is taking “practical steps” to help tackle poverty.

We are taking practical steps to tackle poverty by helping people keep money in their pockets, including initiatives to help people to pay their council tax and free school meals for children in low income households.

Our most up-to-date analysis suggests around 3,000 more children will benefit from free school meals by the time Universal Credit is fully rolled out in 2023-24 because of the new eligibility threshold we are introducing.

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