Earlier this year, Jamie Oliver raised awareness of an issue called “Holiday Hunger”. This refers to children who receive free school meals in term time but then cannot access nutritious meals in the school holidays – some children in fact barely access any food. Parents who are already on the breadline, are struggling to afford the extra food during the holidays and children’s nutrition is subsequently suffering. Many parents also find that providing activities for their children to do in the holidays is absolutely unaffordable due to lack of money. Children are therefore facing both hunger and isolation during the school holidays.
SWFV is delighted to provide a holiday project where families are given the opportunity of a free nutritious meal and activities to entertain the children. Emphasis will be put on “working together” so families cook and share meals, partake in activities together along with the wider community. Families, including the children, will take responsibility for some of the work involved including cooking, cleaning up and serving food. The families that will benefit from this project are those that receive free school meals and have a low income. While it is difficult to evidence how many families cannot afford to feed their children in the UK, statistics show that 1.2million children access free school meals and recent increases in holiday use of food banks evidences that parents are seriously struggling to feed their children. It is well documented that children’s nourishment and health affects all aspects of their development and thus poor nourishment will impact on both short and long term physical, intellectual, emotional and behaviour development.
This project has run very successfully in the summer holidays of 2017 and thanks to a generous donation by Foot Anstey, we are thrilled to be able to run the holiday hunger project again next year!