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Festive season exposes dire child poverty situation

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Friday, 28 December 2018, 7:46a.m.
Demand for food parcels has increased dramatically over the years.

Focus is being drawn to the high number of children and families in poverty who are needing help over the festive period.

The Salvation Army has given out more than 14,000 food parcels and provided housing for 400 families this Christmas.

Registered clinical psychologist at Victoria University Dr Dougal Sutherland told Tim Dower the struggle extended beyond physical needs for children living in poverty.

"Kids who live in poverty for extended periods of time, can develop childhood anxiety and adolescent depression.

Children are the victims of circumstance and can't escape the weight of poverty. Stress on the developing brain can have a major effect on mental health."

The Child Poverty Monitor report by the Office of the Children's Commissioner released this month found that one in five children under the age of 15 experience moderate-to-severe food insecurity.

LISTEN ABOVE AS DR DOUGAL SUTHERLAND SPEAKS TO TIM DOWER

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