THOUSANDS of children are living in poverty in Kent according to statistics revealed this week.
More than a quarter of children and young people up to the age of 20 in Thanet, (8,314), come from struggling families - the highest poverty rate in the county.
Statistics from the Campaign to End Poverty, released on Wednesday, show the wide disparity in poverty levels in Kent.
Find out the level of child poverty in your area on map below
Among areas where one in five children live in poverty include Swale (25 per cent - 7,846) followed by Shepway, (23 per cent - 24,383) and Medway (23 per cent - 14,141), Gravesham, (22 per cent, 5,102) and Dover (22 per cent - 5,108) and Canterbury (20 per cent - 5,551).
Dartford has 19 per cent, (4,202), followed by Ashford (18 per cent - 5,125), Maidstone (17 per cent - 5,461), and Tonbridge and Malling (15 per cent - 4,041).
In Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells they had the lowest with 14 per cent (3,531 and 3,506 respectively) but some deprived wards in Tunbridge Wells such as Broadwater showed a high rate of 27 per cent followed by Rusthall with 19.9 per cent.
Enver Solomon, chairman of the End Child Poverty campaign said: "Far too many children whose parents are struggling to making 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. This week we have written to local authority leaders in the local authorities with the most child poverty, asking them what they will do to tackle child poverty in their local area."
Child poverty is defined as households surviving on less than 60 per cent of the average wage.
Source: End Child Poverty map 2013