Cost of living: Parents admit to going without meals to feed children 1 month ago

Cost of living: Parents admit to going without meals to feed children

A tragic development.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Ireland now has some of the highest grocery prices in all of Europe.

We are all feeling the pinch at this stage, between the cost of petrol, electricity and now also groceries, and sadly, it doesn't look like things are about to change anytime soon either.

A Central Statistics Office study revealed that last year, food prices in Ireland were 17 percent above the EU27 average, making them the second most expensive in the eurozone (19 countries) behind Luxembourg, and the third most expensive in the EU.

Staples like milk, cheese and eggs are now 25 percent higher than the EU average.

And the crisis is likely to worsen as the year goes on, with Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath warning the country is facing 'a prolonged period of high inflation'.

Food and energy poverty on the rise

The government is being urged to bring an early budget on the cost of living forward, and earlier this week, they were being asked to start issuing food vouchers.

This comes as charities reveal many parents are now skipping meals and going hungry to be able to afford their children.

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St Vincent De Paul has received 80,000 requests for help since the start of the year, figures that are up 20 percent on last year, with the majority of these linked to food poverty.

The charity says they estimate that one in ten people in Ireland now suffers from food poverty, with energy poverty also now being on the rise.

Speaking to the Irish Daily earlier this week, Tricia Keilthy, head of social justice at St Vincent De Paul says:

"It is a huge issue prior to this anyway and it is only going to get worse."

She said low-income families on a fixed budget might have spent "€60 to €70, maybe less" on food for the week.

But she added: "That same basket of food, they are saying, is costing €70-€80. The reality is you don't have anything left in your budget so your shopping basket gets smaller."

Ms Keilthy said the majority of calls SVP receives are in relation to food poverty and they are "very worried' that the issue is 'getting worse."

"We are getting calls from people who never had to ask for help before."