Distraught dinner lady says she's forced to 'taking lunches from hungry children' who have no money

This is the moment a dinner lady breaks down as she describes having to deny school lunches to up to 15 children a day as parents struggle to find money for food.

The woman, who has not been named and works at an unidentified school in Lancashire, told PoliticsJoe she is seeing a huge increase in children whose parents simply cannot afford their lunches.

The clip, which was originally posted to Twitter on Tuesday, has been widely shared and had been watched 3.9 million times by Thursday evening.

Parents are facing increasing financial pressures, with inflation reaching its highest levels in decades as energy bills and food costs soar.

“Just before the summer holidays, when the cost of living crisis really started kicking off, I just noticed I was spending as much time taking food away from children as do serving it,” the woman says.

“To be honest, it's not what I took the job for. I never dreamt I would be telling children ‘you can’t have that, you’ve no money in your account’.”

Before the crisis kicked in, the woman said she would turn away one child a month.

But now she is turning away 10-15 children without money “every single day.”

“Its breaking my heart. They’re in a queue full of all their peers and other schoolchildren, and it’s humiliating for them. So humiliating." she says

“They just look at you like ‘well, what am I going to eat’," she adds in the clip and says he has to tell them: “I can’t give you anything, I’m sorry’

With schools reopening this week, the dinner lady said she was “dreading” returning to work.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a charity that conducts and funds research aimed at solving poverty in the UK, said the video highlighted an "appalling" situation.

It said in a tweet: "It's absolutely appalling that in our compassionate society, children are going hungry. When the new Prime Minister is announced, they need to take significant and immediate action to right this moral wrong."