FOUR children in every Yorkshire and Humber primary class are facing Christmas without warmth or fresh food this year.

Action for Children has warned some of the youngest children will be deprived of the basics like a heated home, warm winter coat or fresh food.

New research from the charity also shows parents below the breadline are able to spend on average just £2 a day per child on food, struggling to afford nutritious food vital for health and development.

With no free school meals available during the school holidays, this leaves many worse-off families struggling to afford their children’s lunch. With a typical primary school meal in the UK costing £2.30 a day, it means parents can barely afford lunch, let alone breakfast and dinner.

Action for Children says at least 50 of its services across the country have provided foodbank support over the past year and with demand so high, the charity is planning to host unofficial foodbanks again over the festive season.

John Egan, director for England at Action for Children, said: “No parent in Yorkshire and the Humber should have to face the awful prospect of their youngster sitting in the cold without a plate of food to eat at the end of a school day, or skip dinner themselves so their child has a meal.

“Politicians are telling us austerity has ended but every day at Action for Children our frontline services say child poverty levels are at the worst they can remember. While some families will spend the Christmas holidays putting their children to bed early to keep warm because they can’t afford to heat the house, for others it has become the norm to not have a winter coat, rely on foodbanks, or for their children to miss out on hot meals.

“The next Government must deliver ambitious policies to end child poverty and bring in a National Childhood Strategy to give all our children a safe and happy childhood. But until every family has enough money to keep their child warm and well fed, we will continue to help them. That’s why we’re asking the public to get behind our Secret Santa campaign to help us support our most vulnerable children, not just at Christmas but every day.”

The charity is asking the public to get behind its Secret Santa campaign by texting CHILD to 70607 to donate £10.