A “ticking time bomb” of child poverty will have a lasting affect on the future of young people in Milton Keynes, it was claimed this week.
Charity the MK Community Foundation claims that 12,500 children are living in poverty, which it claims makes them more likely to die prematurely or suffer long-term illnesses, and less likely to achieve qualifications.
The figures were originally published by the charity in a report last year.
Spokesman Sarah Bannister said: “When children go to school without breakfast, their ability to learn significantly decreases.
“By the end of primary school children on free school meals are on average three terms behind their better off classmates.
“With one in five local children living in poverty and entitled to free school meals 20% of MK’s future work force is at risk of underachieving.
“Young people in poverty in MK won’t reach their full potential without the support of the community. These are our city’s citizens of the future. Local people can do something to help children in need on their doorstep.”
The charity is now calling upon Milton Keynes residents to support their projects such as Melting Pot, which trains young parents how to make healthy meals on a budget.
For information on how to support the MK Community Foundation or make a donation visit www.localgiving.com/charity/mkcommunityfoundation or call Sarah Bannister on 01908 393014.