The number of parents using food banks more than doubled last year, according to Barnardos.

A survey conducted on behalf of the children's charity, shows that by November 2022, one-in-ten parents (10%) had used food banks.

That was more than double the number of parents (4%) that said they used food banks in a survey conducted in January 2022.

Coyne research conducted the survey, which found that between October and November last year, food poverty worsened for children and families across the country.

It found 29% of parents skipped meals or reduced portion sizes in 2022 to ensure their children had enough to eat.

That was a 10% increase in the number of parents skipping meals at the start of 2022.

One-in-five parents (19%) did not have enough food to feed their children at some point, which is up from 15% from January 2022.

One quarter of parents had to cut down on household bills such as gas and electricity in order to afford food costs.

The research, conducted on behalf of Barnardos and its partner ALDI Ireland, shows more parents are worried about their ability to provide their children with sufficient food.

It found 13% were always worrying about it, compared to 6% in January 2022.

One-in-seven parents (16%) said that regularly, they were unable to afford a main meal for their family/children.

Barnardos has seen a marked increase in demand for its services and is concerned about the toll that soaring bills are having on families' mental health.

It said 43% of those surveyed said they had to cut down on spending on clothes to provide their children with food, up from 36% in January 2022.

Almost half of parents surveyed (47%) said that inflation has had a negative impact on pressures to afford food, with almost one in five (17%) saying it had a very negative impact.

People are increasingly reliant on vouchers from voluntary organisations or food packages from friends and family in order to provide their children with sufficient food.

Barnardos said it had witnessed an increased need and demand for support around food over the past year, with staff reporting that more parents than ever are requesting food vouchers.

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Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said the Government should consider the idea of a mini budget following the findings.

He also called for the extension of the eviction ban, while his party leader Ivana Bacik said she did not believe there would be legal issues as the extension would be "temporary".

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett also called for an emergency budget, as well as price controls, to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

He said it was "shocking" that the number of parents using food banks more than doubled last year, and he asserted that families are now being "driven into poverty".

Mr Boyd Barrett said basic goods and services need to be subsidised to make them affordable, and social welfare and pension payments should be increased to €300 per week.

Meanwhile, the manager of the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin said 675 people were given dinner there yesterday, the highest number ever for the service.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Alan Bailey said 1,300 food parcels were prepared for people attending the centre this morning, compared to 1,200 last week, and 1,100 the week before.

As well as an increase in the number of people relying on food donations, Mr Bailey said the service is seeing "huge demand" for nappies and baby food, which it supplies every Monday morning.

He also said the number of children attending the centre after school is increasing.

He said the service had running costs of €4 million last year, but "because of peoples' generosity we have enough cash … we have enough money to keep us going".