Boris Johnson and the rest of the government has been shamed for not helping with the cost of living crisis (Photo: Getty/PoliticsJOE)
A charity has hit out at the government for its inaction over the cost of living, after a clip highlighting the reality of the crisis went viral.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) – which focuses on research and fundraising around poverty – was responding to a harrowing account from a school dinner lady when it hit out at the government.
Outlet PoliticsJOE had interviewed a dinner lady on the street when she had admitted she has to deny children food because they can’t afford it, prompting the charity to reply: “It’s absolutely appalling that in our compassionate society, children are going hungry.
“When the new prime minister is announced, they need to take significant and immediate action to right this moral wrong.”
The original clip, which accumulated 3.8 million views in just over 24 hours, begins with the woman introducing herself as “a dinner lady” from Lancashire.
She continued: “I spend as much time taking food away from children as I do serving it.”
Speaking at the Enough is Enough rally in Manchester, she said: “And to be honest, it’s not what I took the job for. You know, I never dreamt that I’d be having to tell children, ‘You can’t have that, you have no money on your account’.”
She said it used to be a once-a-month anomaly when a child was not able to pay for their lunch, usually because a parent forgot to top up an account.
“But now you’re talking 10 to 15 children a shift, every day, every single day,” she explained.
The school worker said it was “breaking my heart” to see this “humiliating” experience happen to so many children.
“I’m just dreading going back to work. I’m dreading October, and to be honest, it’s just getting to the point where I don’t even think I can do this job anymore.
“I didn’t take on the job to starve children.”
She started to well up while on camera, and said: “Something has to give and I just don’t think it should be children’s spirits.”
By referring to October, the dinner lady was alluding to the energy price cap which is set to climb again to £3,549 for the average household.
This means that budgets are going to get even tighter – and even more children might struggle to pay for their school meals.
It's absolutely appalling that in our compassionate society, children are going hungry. When the new Prime Minister is announced, they need to take significant and immediate action to right this moral wrong. https://t.co/SZZishj9aY
— Joseph Rowntree Foundation (@jrf_uk) September 1, 2022
JRF wasn’t the only Twitter account to notice the harrowing clip either. Both left-wing commentator Ash Sarkar and outspoken presenter Piers Morgan condemned No.10 over its inaction after seeing the video, along with thousands of other Twitter users.
What this woman describes is a microcosm of what's going on across the public sector. Rising child poverty means greater demand for support, but a decade of austerity has slashed the capacity to provide it.
Workers who are supposed to help kids end up being forced to gatekeep. https://t.co/J0gp4JWl5d
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) August 31, 2022
This shames Britain. No child should be subjected to such humiliation & hunger. How dare Boris Johnson go on some absurd ‘victory lap’ tour when this is happening on his watch? 👇 https://t.co/1I4WymMsY7
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 31, 2022
This is what happens when you have clowns running your country. https://t.co/OzPKj8BhiM
— Matthew Marsden (@matthewdmarsden) August 31, 2022
Meanwhile we've got the current PM doing a farewell tour of the country while the next one offers no solutions to any of this. It's minging and heartbreaking. https://t.co/uxhPftm8oT
— Jay Motty (@JayMotty) August 31, 2022
No child should go hungry in Britain in 2022.@TrussLiz@RishiSunak have no plan to deal with the cost of living crisis.@UKLabour would freeze the price cap to make sure families do not pay a penny more on their energy bills this winterhttps://t.co/W2SdmWZlYr
— Preet Kaur Gill MP (@PreetKGillMP) August 31, 2022
I can’t stand this country. We are finished 🤬 https://t.co/w0ntHP8RgK
— Curtis Woodhouse (@curtiswoodhous8) August 31, 2022
So we are going to need foodbanks in all the schools then? What has this country under the Tories become? A f'cking cesspit for greedy, thieving & lying MPs & Ministers. Whilst kids starve MPs claim their meals & expenses!!!!#WeDemandBetter#KickOutTheTories
— Steve Bray Activist Against Brexit +Corrupt Tories (@snb19692) August 30, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.