Half of young mothers skip meals to feed their children, study says

Young Women's Trust says 'shocking' numbers of are having to turn to food banks to get by

(Image credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Half of young mothers go without meals to make sure their children have enough food while more than a quarter have used a food bank, says a new survey.

The Young Women's Trust, which polled more than 300 women aged under 25 with children, also found two-thirds were only just managing financially, reports Sky News. The findings are "shocking", says the trust.

Chief executive Carole Easton said: "Young Women's Trust has found that young mothers are clearly committed to their children's upbringing but often face huge challenges in their everyday lives.

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"A shocking number are having to skip meals or turn to food banks in order to feed their children."

Almost 20 per cent of the mothers questioned felt lonely "all the time", while 26 per cent left the house just once a week or less.

Many young women depending on food banks and government support say they would rather be working, says the trust.

Easton added: "Young mums are telling us they want to work and become financially independent, but they face huge barriers."

These included lack of access to childcare, inflexible working hours, lack of part-time roles and unsympathetic employers, she said.

Easton also said there was "inconsistent support from Jobcentre Plus" and that younger women were entitled to less government support and lower wages because of their age, even if they are mothers.

A quarter of the young women polled said they had experienced discrimination when their employer found out they were pregnant and 26 per cent had left a job because they couldn't afford childcare, reports The Independent.

The government insisted it is working to improve the situation.

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said it was "taking steps like increasing the number of work coaches and doubling free childcare for three and four-year-olds".

He added: "Every day our dedicated work coaches help thousands of people across the country, including young mothers, to get into work or access the support that they need."

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