Photo/Illutration A box of food the nonprofit organization Kidsdoor sent to struggling families with children in August 2021 (Provided by Kidsdoor)

Eighty-five percent of needy families are facing “some” or “great” difficulty coping with the soaring prices of food and other daily necessities, a survey by a support group found.

Kidsdoor, a government-authorized nonprofit organization based in Tokyo, conducted the online survey from June 10 to 14 on 2,634 struggling parents who receive the group’s support.

It received responses from 1,386.

The parents were asked about the impact of rising prices on their children’s diet. Respondents could choose multiple answers.

Sixty-four percent of them said they are struggling to give their children nutritionally balanced meals, while 60 percent said they are feeding their children less. Thirty-seven percent said they cannot afford to buy meat and fish.

The survey also found 81 percent are worried about whether they can prepare proper meals for their children during the summer holiday, when they cannot eat school lunches.

“Prices are soaring, and utility costs will also go up since my children will spend all day at home in the summer holiday,” said one respondent. “I can’t spend much on food.”

Another parent said, “I will have no choice but to further cut back on spending for food if prices and utility bills keep rising.”

Yumiko Watanabe, who heads Kidsdoor, said many respondents are single parents or earn less than 2 million yen ($15,000) a year.

“Those in need are facing even greater hardships amid rising prices,” she said.

Watanabe said those families are more likely to face a choice between either spending more on electricity for their air conditioners in summer or developing heatstroke by keeping them turned off. 

Having no money to go somewhere (to escape the heat), their children will likely end up suffering heatstroke or malnutrition,” she said. 

The NPO plans to start a crowdfunding drive on June 20 to raise money to provide emergency food aid to those families.