National figure on Food Poverty.

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An estimated 16,000 people are thought to be suffering from food poverty, according to research compiled by the unions Unite and Mandate.

The report, Hungry for Action, is based upon a national figure provided by the Department of Social Protection, which estimates that in 2010, 457,000 people suffered from food poverty.

Food poverty is defined by having missed a meal in the last two week period due to lack of money; not being able to afford a meal with meat and vegetarian equivilant every second day or not being able to afford a roast or vegetarian equivalent once a week.

Speaking to Tipperary Mid West Radio Unite’s Michael Taft said that the unions are calling on the government to make €10 million available to organisations that provide for the most deprived in society and to draw up an emergency relief budget next year. 

The county by county figures are drawn from the national figure and based upon the income levels of the particular counties.

Mr Taft said the figures show that an estimated 10% of people in Co Tipperary are suffering from some level of food poverty.