FareShare Sussex supported the fight against the the growing problem of holiday hunger, redistributing enough food to create 1,630 meals for four local activity projects over the summer break.
Holiday hunger is a rapidly growing issue. Currently 1.7 million children in the UK are eligible for free school meals during term time. Once the holidays start this additional support is removed, and families’ budgets can be stretched to breaking point. It’s not just families on low incomes who are affected, but those coping with illness or disability, as well as working parents who will need to find another four weeks of childcare.
The food has been specially selected to meet the children’s nutritional needs and includes healthy cereal bars, bottled water, fruit juices and fresh fruit.
FareShare Sussex Development Manager Rachel Carless said: “For most children the school holidays are all about fun and excitement – but sadly, for many, it can be a time of hunger. If your child receives a free school meal then when the summer holidays start there is a sharp and sudden increase in cost — as much as additional £30 a week per child. We think surplus food has a huge role to play in tackling holiday hunger. It means the grassroots charities and councils who run these schemes can put on even more activities and reach even more families.
“Of course we wouldn’t have been able to supply anything like this amount of food without our amazing volunteers, hard at work in our warehouse in Brighton. We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved together.”
Chomp is a holiday club based in Brighton, and made good use of the surplus food provided by FareShare. Chomp co-ordinator Andy Malcolm said:
“We try to encourage the young people to eat lots of vegetables, fruits and other healthy food. The deliveries of fresh produce encourage us to create and cook meals using a wide range of ingredients.”
FareShare Sussex are looking for new charities and community groups to benefit from a regular delivery of surplus food. Visit faresharesussex.org.uk/food and email Rachel Carless at Rachel@faresharesussex.org.uk for more information.
More information about Chomp can be found at chompbrighton.co.uk