FareShare South West, a surplus food redistribution charity, has launched a campaign to help tackle child hunger over the school holiday by redistributing meals and snacks across Bath and Somerset.
The charity is urging projects working with children and families over the summer holiday to get in touch with them and find out how regular deliveries of surplus food – such as fruit, yoghurt and wraps – could be used to combat hunger and help feed the people they support.
Last summer’s campaign saw FareShare South West provide food to 25 holiday schemes, which between them provided an estimated 14,000 meals to children at risk of hunger over the holiday.
This year, the charity is aiming to work with more projects to ultimately feed even more children in need.
Studies have shown that almost one in five children in Bath and North East Somerset are growing up in poverty after housing costs – many of which are eligible for free school meals.
With this safety removed over summer, many families face increased financial pressure, which, in turn, drives them further into food insecurity.
Without money for activities, children can also become socially isolated. As a result, many children will return to school malnourished, tired, and unable to learn.
By providing healthy nutritious snacks and meals, the charity will help to ensure that every child can access a healthy, varied diet, as well as enjoying plenty of fun activities like sport and drama.
Julian Mines, CEO at FareShare South West, said: “School holidays should be fun and full of new experiences, but the reality is it can be a really tough time for low income and vulnerable families – many of which rely on free school meals during term time.
“With this safety net removed for six weeks, families face a period of increased struggle with children at risk of hunger, isolation and inactivity.
“Our ActiveAte summer campaign will support the work of frontline holiday schemes across Bath and Somerset which work with children and young people, by providing regular deliveries of quality surplus food ready to be made into nutritious meals.”
FareShare is the UK’s biggest surplus food redistribution charity, diverting over 20,000 tonnes of surplus food to almost 11,000 frontline charities across the UK, including homeless hostels, women’s refuges, community centres and school breakfast clubs.
To donate to and find out more about FareShare’s ActiveAte campaign, visit http://faresharesouthwest.org.uk/activeatebristol/.