Parents in Watford are making their children skip meals due to 'hidden hunger' created by the cost of living crisis.

Rising grocery and fuel prices mean more and more people are struggling to put food on the table.

But Enoch Kanagaraj, founder and CEO of foodbank One Vision, says many are too embarrassed to go to a foodbank until crisis hits.


He said: “I met with a lady and three children following a domestic abuse case. She said there were some days when she did not eat because otherwise she could not afford to put enough food on her three children's plates.

“After the conflict she had made the youngest child, 13 years old, skip meals as well. That is absolutely terrible and that’s when One Vision picked up. We have started to help.”

Watford Observer:

Mr Kanagaraj said many families skip meals, which can lead to them developing eating disorders.

He added: “The cost of living and the rising cost of fuel is all going on at the same time and what people are trying to do is skip dinners to provide for their children.

“I have been hearing of a lot of hidden hunger around Watford and Three Rivers. There are so many stories here around low-income families.”

Watford Observer:

One Vision currently has around 64 volunteers making about 200 meals a day at the hub in St Albans Road.

Because of the shame and stigma, many referrals come from the police and other organisations after they are called in to deal with other problems.

One Vision often particularly deals with single mothers and victims of domestic abuse.

The Women’s Centre, social prescribers, housing providers, the police and care professionals identify those that need a helping hand and refer them to One Vision’s Food Programme. 

Watford Observer:

Mr Kanagaraj said: “I hope people start to understand how they can ask for help instead of skipping dinner or asking their children to live with crisps or chocolate or whatever they can afford and we can make a simple healthy meal.

“That’s what One Vision has been doing, and now what we are trying to do is take those people with a limited amount of money and try to make simple meals with them and give them recipes and help them sustain whatever they have.”

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