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5 October 2023

The Baby Formula Crisis is the ‘Tip of the Child Poverty Iceberg’

Sky News has today reported that baby banks across the UK are reporting increasing and “unsustainable” levels of demand for baby essentials and huge frustration about the lack of government intervention. 

Here, our CEO Sophie Livingstone shares her thoughts: 

“Every day at Little Village we hear about the terrible choices parents and carers are having to make like watering down formula to make it stretch further, nappy rationing and kids wearing shoes that are too small for them.  

“As with increases in energy, housing, clothing and food, the price of formula has created a perfect storm which is unacceptable for them to have to deal with. The huge increase in demand for our help is a clear indicator of the increased pressure families are under – by August of this year, we’d helped 50% more families than the same time last year.  

“Too many families with young children who are struggling to survive – they need urgent action and support to give their children the best start in life.” 

Winter warnings 

Little Village’s own research recently revealed that increased living costs are creating fear amongst parents ahead of winter. It showed that: 

  • Three quarters (74%) of London parents said they were worried about keeping their children warm this winter. There was particularly concern for those with the youngest children aged between 0-5 years-old, with 77% of parents feeling worried.  
  • Nearly half (49%) said they will need to cut back on essentials to pay for heating in order to keep them cosy. A third will resort to dressing their children in outdoor clothing such as hats and coats indoors, including at during the night (24%) and 15% will avoid being at home. 
  • Many parents are worried about being able to afford essential winter warmers for their children with just under a half (40%) reporting that they’ll struggle to buy a coat or snowsuit, and 38% boots or shoes.  

Baby Bank Alliance 

Four partners including ourselves at Little Village along with Baby Bank Network Bristol, Save the Children and Purposeful Ventures are working together to incubate a new national baby bank alliance whose aim is to increase the profile and impact of the vital work undertaken by over 200 baby banks run in local communities across the UK.  

Our hope is that an alliance will help baby banks to share knowledge and resources, attract funding, in kind donations, partners that they couldn’t secure alone and grow the overall baby bank movement. For more information, please email  

How to help 

Little Village collects donations of pre-loved items and passes them on to families who need them. As well as donations of things, we also need donations of time and money and so we can keep delivering to and for families across London. Please help us to give every child the start in life they deserve. 

Donate today. 


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