Most disadvantaged families suffer from food insecurity

Taipei, Nearly 60 percent of economically disadvantaged families report having suffered from hunger and poor nutrition, while 50 percent live in old or rundown houses, according to a survey released Thursday by the Child Welfare League Foundation.

In the survey, economically disadvantaged families are defined as those with per capita adult income of NT$11,000 per month, or half the monthly minimum wage of NT$22,000.

The survey, which was conducted from January to March among economically disadvantaged families with children who receive the foundation's support, collected 1,015 valid samples from the 5,000-plus households serviced by the foundation.

The survey found the average monthly household income of an economically disadvantaged family was NT$26,000, or NT$11,000 per adult. Such families spend more than 70 percent of their monthly household income on housing, food and education, 34.7 percent have had to cut back on essentials and 21.1 percent are burdened by debts.

The survey shows that 58.5 percent of these families have suffered from hunger and poor nutrition, including 42.2 percent that cannot afford sufficient food to eat and 44.7 percent that do not have enough nutritious food.

Meanwhile, 25.4 percent rely on relatives or social welfare groups for food support and 11.9 percent depend on children bringing school lunch food home.

In terms of housing, 51.2 percent of these families live in old or rundown houses, 35.1 percent have had rent arrears, 19.7 percent have been kicked out by their landlords and 13.5 percent live in illegal structures.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel