Food poverty has been prominent in the headlines for the past few years. It’s an increasing issue across the UK and last year Trussel Trust, the food bank charity, reported that they gave out almost a million food parcels – an increase of 347,000 from the previous year.
Alongside this, school holiday hunger is a real problem for those families whose children normally receive a free school meal during term time. Providing an extra meal over the school holidays is a real struggle for some families and can cause anxiety and stress. This means that there is a real concern that some families will struggle to meet the costs to feed their children over the school holidays.
The Northern Housing Consortium are aware of various different projects being carried out and supported by NHC members and their partners around relieving some of this stress and the financial pressures faced by families struggling over school holidays.
Recently the North East Child Poverty Commission hosted a seminar in the North East, supported by the NHC, to look at the issue of holiday hunger and how to tackle this through a more co-ordinated approach and showcasing some of the activities already taking place. One of the speakers at this seminar was Lindsay Graham, the founder of Lindsay Graham Limited (LGL), who specialises in giving advice and support to local authorities, government agencies, voluntary organisations, and the commercial sector on all aspects of school food and health promotion.
Lindsey travelled to the USA over the summer of 2014 to investigate community projects that address school holiday child hunger. Her report, published on 22nd October 2014, is entitled170 Days: the approximate number of non-school days in the year in the UK that free school meal pupils do not receive their school lunch. This is often the only regular hot meal that is available to them during term time.
The NHC would be keen to hear from members around any work programmes/activity member organisations are involved in on tackling food poverty and/or school holiday hunger. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.