THE life chances of young people are being damaged by poverty and empty stomachs, Mike Amesbury has told a meeting of MPs.

The Weaver Vale MP was speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on the Children’s Future Food Inquiry from the Food Foundation.

The report raised concerns about support for breastfeeding and policies to support babies in low income households, as well as food provision in early years and preschool environments.

It also found free school meal provision was inconsistent across the country, and that children from the poorest families are more exposed to fast food while being less able to afford healthier food.

He said: “According to this report, up until their second birthday, children’s brains and bodies are developing fast and laying down the foundation for the future.

"The food, energy and nutrients which children eat during this period determine how well they grow, how well they do at school and are also a good predictor of long-term health.

“Tragically, under the current Government, those years are increasingly being damaged by poverty and empty stomachs.”

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The debate heard a number of case studies, including incidents of families having to choose between paying for heating or for food, as well as recommendations for more water dispensers in schools due to the fact children often couldn’t afford a drink.

Mike added: “Those tales show us just how important it is to ensure that, in one of the richest countries in the world, all our children can have access to that most basic of rights: enough to eat so that they can live and learn without the pain of hunger.”

The Guardian

reported last month

that foodbank use in mid Cheshire has risen by 78 per cent over the past two years.

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Between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, 5,511 emergency food packages were provided to people in the Northwich and Winsford area by the Mid Cheshire Foodbank.

More than 2,200 of them went to children.