Big Issue Vendor

Foodbanks prepare for parents’ six-week struggle without school meals

A new project will work with over 200 community groups across the UK to provide meals for up to 20,000 children this summer

The school summer holidays are approaching, and for many parents, the worries of how to entertain the kids for more than a month are on the horizon. But with as many as one in four British children now living in poverty, the reality is that for parents of some three million children, the real concern is simply working out how they will feed their children throughout six weeks of no free school meals.

FareShare, a food redistribution charity has launched ActiveAte to ease pressure and support vulnerable families. The project will see FareShare work with over 200 community groups across the UK to provide balanced, nutritious meals for up to 20,000 at risk children and families in the UK this summer.

With parents also concerned about the additional costs for childcare and activities, they are hoping to support projects that provide free activities like sports in a bid to ensure children are kept active and fed over the summer.

FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said that the summer holidays “should be a carefree time for young people” but with families reliant on school breakfast clubs and free lunches many faced “a period of struggle with children at risk of hunger, isolation and inactivity”.

“Our nationwide ActiveAte campaign will support the work of over 200 frontline charities across the UK which work with children and young people. These charities will receive regular deliveries of nutritious food from FareShare,” he said.

The Trussell Trust said foodbank use had hit a record high because of Universal Credit, revealing that low income was the reason that accounted for 28 per cent of foodbank visits and that in areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out for a year or more the rise in visits has been four times higher with 52 per cent more.

Last year the charity revealed that nearly half of children who received support from foodbanks in its network the summer previously were of primary school age.

Image: Flickr/Cheshire East Council