More than one in five children in Preston lives in poverty, according to a new charity study.
A report by the End Child Poverty campaign, a coalition of 100 charities, claims 22 per cent of youngsters in the city are living below the poverty line, based on criteria set by the government.
The study shows Preston lags behind richer areas but fares better than Blackpool, where 30 per cent of kids are affected.
In affluent Ribble Valley, just seven per cent of children are deemed to be living below the poverty line.
Nationally, central Manchester has the worst record on child poverty, with almost half the kids there in desperately poor families.
The charity says a separate study by Save the Children showed more than half of those affected admit to cutting back on food and meals to make ends meet.
Enver Solomon, chairman of the campaign, said: “The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region.
“Far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.
“The huge disparities that exist across the country have become more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long-term poverty and disadvantage.
“Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make. We’re calling on authorities to prioritise low-income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the bedroom tax.
“The government must also closely examine its current strategy for reducing poverty and consider what more it could do to ensure millions of children’s lives are not blighted by the corrosive impact that poverty has on their daily existence.”
The Evening Post reported last year how the Salvation Army was distributing about 300 food parcels a week to Preston people in need.
Capt Alex Cadogan, from the Salvation Army on Harrington Street, said: “We’ve certainly seen a trend for more families asking for help in the last year.”