The welfare charity, Kids Company, has shared the moving story of a 10-year-old boy simply identified as “Chris” who would chip off bits of bricks from the wall to eat.
This formed part of a report on how the recession in the UK have been affecting the poorest people in the country.
According to the Independent, in another indication of food poverty’s growing impact, figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that diagnoses of rickets – a disease of poverty associated with vitamin D deficiency – have also risen significantly, from 561 in 2008/09 to 702 in the past year.
According to the Charity, the ten-year-old showed signs of malnourishment with pale skin and dark rings under his eyes.
His alcoholic father left his mother with four children to care for two years ago. The only food the children were given was cheap and processed.
Key workers intervened by picking him up from school every day and eating a healthy supper with him in one of Kids Company’s centres.
The siblings were said to have very low confidence and bullied at school.
His two elder brothers had lost their four adult front teeth and his two-year-old brother was losing his baby teeth prematurely.
Recalling his experience, Chris said, “I was so hungry I would even chip bits off the wall and eat those.”