I have one meal a day. Why did my children have free? I'll have one meal if I'm lucky. From the country's seaside towns through the leafy suburbs and rural villages, this is the reality of child poverty in the UK often invisible or is corrosive, Everyone said. Don't cry in front of her, but it's very hard when you live in the same room. But what happens when Covid batters already struggling families and what are we doing to turn the tide? We need to keep that focus on these children because otherwise they're gonna grow up remembering us for how we've failed them rather than. How we got behind them and gave them the best start in life. We're running a pop up baby. It's nappy wipes foods um every week we're seeing an increase of families now every Thursday in a hot pool side Street. Emily opens her car to families with young children in need. We started off with twelve our first week and now it's on average, 3035 and rising every week. It's just getting harder for people Um money is getting tighter. Emily runs the baby bank almost single handedly since the March lockdown. Had to take it outside a mix of pop up and deliveries covid up demand. What we are seeing is people saying, please do you have a court for my child because I can't afford to feed and splash out for a new winter court and what do you say to that? we get one for them. We've never turned anybody away. That's okay and how shocked have you been by what's happened? What people are telling you horrified. Just behind me, very close to Emily's Baby bank, there is a line of getting on for 100 people. They're queuing up for a local food bank and in amongst them there are parents push chairs little babies. Uh we've been asked not to identify any of the people in that queue, but it is a sign of the hardship that's out there in this town. I think she gets cut off on Monday or Tuesday, so hopefully she'll be back there. What what did you get from her? some wipes and some baby food at the minute me and out of work. So it's a bit tough at a minute. There was a lady I can think of before Christmas who I dropped off to her who cried and she said. I'm so sorry to have to get in touch with you. I've been on since the end of my maternity and I just can't afford things anymore and my mom has told me it's time to stop being proud and I went away with a lump in my throat, you know because she was a working parent ashamed because she could no longer provide and we are finding an increasing or off work people coming to us and saying I'm so sorry. I never thought I'd see myself in this position. Can you help me? Analysis of government data looks at incomes among UK families with at least one child under five one third of these children live in poverty that equates to 1.3000000 under fives. In the last decade. Poverty has risen fastest for households with children in that age group and Covid made it worse by July last year. 38% of these families had seen their earnings fall as a result of the pandemic. You've got Layla, she's seven and my biggest help and support even though she's my child. We've got Annie, who's five uh bubbly outgoing full of life. We've got William. He's free um little short man. He was a premature so he saw his life for his time and then we've got Sammy who's in the crowd who's 7 months old so full of beans. He's a regular user of Emily's Baby bank. She moved to from London in search of cheaper rent alone. Kay's work much of her life, but not now with the young children and the two child limit means universal credit covers her with the oldest two only after the housing cost, she says she's left with 600 pounds a month. It's got pay your gas, your electric, your water, your council tax and any other bills that may pop up and your food. So within a week, my money is gone. I've spent out so then you've got 3 weeks three and a half weeks to the next payday. So it's literally and square. Open up your child benefit, which is every Monday, so you'll let you rely on your child benefit to see you through. And what does that mean? I have one meal a day? Why my children have free. I'll have one meal if I'm lucky. According to the new report, the northeast of England has the second highest rate of under five poverty in the UK low income families in heart people were struggling before and the pandemic is making things worse. Most of the cheapest shops are closed the price of foods going up like by twenty P. but if you work it out, it's a lot so everything's rising. so there's no break at the end of it. Families with young children are far more likely to be in lasting poverty. Park has set up Little Village Baby Bank in London to try and change things. but the report from her charity finds poverty and under five is deepest in the capital. We are supporting families where babies are not having the floor space to learn to roll and we're seeing families struggling to get out because they don't have a buggy or warm coats and just this week we've supported a mom for example, who is pregnant. She's got a. A toddler they're in a single room with one bed. There's not space for um a sofa, let alone a table. These are unacceptable circumstances for children to be growing up in just the stickers. So this one is blue and. Covid means the charities have to shut its doors to families instead it delivers to them. It's research shows some young children are at higher risk of poverty, not just with lone parents, but in disabled families in households where there are three or more children and in black and minority ethnic families, it's people like Marcia, the cleaner who is bringing up her grandson alone, but these and there's one more you. Two and three children in poverty have one parent in work at least one parent and work. The families we um support were already in a very difficult place before Covid and I think Covid has made that so much worse. We're seeing families who are falling into renter is we're seeing families who are having to rely on high cost loans. Deprived under fives in London live further below the poverty line than anywhere else in the UK, according to the new research. That line is calculated as 375 pounds a week after housing costs for a couple with two children aged below five. But in the capital that family would have an average weekly income of 248 pounds for a single parent with 200 fives. The poverty line is 263 pounds, but in London that family would live on just 173 pounds a week The He's a qualified nursery worker when her relationship broke down after she had her daughter 3 years ago. she relied heavily on little village. I've always worked and it was only until I had a that I couldn't work because it was too expensive for me to send her to nursery and work at the same time. So I struggled Vicky is now paid for a few hours a week at the charity, but still needs benefits to get by she knows the relentless daily grind of being a parent in poverty. It's just like you know. Feet are growing and I'm like no don't grow. It's only when you look at their little faces. And you're like, oh god I wanna cry. Um it's only when you look at her face. Oh sorry. And you think like I wanna do what's best for you. I want you to have what I couldn't have. I don't want you to be that a child that has to go without, but I know on certain things that you know you can't have everything. I understand that. Amongst its many coveted support packages, the government's temporary twenty pounds a week uplift to universal credit has been vital for many on low incomes. even so in 3 months into the pandemic K went into debt for the first time. I mean, I've got myself into loans and things because I need to survive what kind of interest you have to pay a lot just a 300 pound loan. You're paying back 510 my goodness so. What did you need that money for living for food or food children's clothes as they grow? So yeah. Poverty lurks behind doorways for the very youngest children it can have a lasting impact on their development, but while it can diminish hope for the parents we met it doesn't extinguish it, but hoping that they get good jobs that they see that I've fought to for now for everything that they've got and actually yeah they be themselves. I don't want any of my children to be set on benefits so. For me and I like to live in a two bedroom place and me to be full time working just to feel comfortable would be nice but. To me, it's not all about money and just seeing her smile everyday is a lot better than money. We're gonna do it again.