A Speke food charity is helping to feed 3,690 children each week this school summer holiday – almost five times the number of children it reached last year. FareShare Merseyside, part of the UK’s biggest surplus food redistribution charity, is providing nutritious meals and snacks to 123 holiday projects in the region – and anticipates it will provide 23,810 meals to children in need by the end of the six-week break.
The increased food provision has been made possible thanks to FareShare Merseyside teaming up with local organisations LCVS and MPAC through their Positive About Play programme, and comes as part of FareShare’s ActiveAte campaign – which supports children at risk of hunger when schools break up and the safety net of free school meals is removed.
Holiday projects receiving food also provide activities such as sport, drama and cooking lessons to ensure children are kept well fed and active – so they are able to return to school in September healthy and ready to learn.
With an estimated three million children in the UK at risk of going hungry over the school holidays, the ActiveAte campaign was launched to appeal to the public for donations during this time of additional activity. For as little as £7, donors can enable FareShare to provide 28 nutritious meals for children at a holiday project.
Kirsty Walsh, Development Manager at FareShare Merseyside, said: “For parents of children who normally receive free school meals, the summer can be a really difficult time – with the strain of added food costs, activities and childcare leaving many families struggling to provide food.
“ActiveAte is our nationwide campaign to address this issue, and this year’s growth in comparison to last year demonstrates the glaring need for enhanced food provision in our communities over the summer.
“With the support of our food partners, we’re grateful we’re able to support more frontline holiday projects than before, but in order to ensure no child goes hungry, we are appealing to the public for donations. Just £7 can have a real, tangible impact – providing 28 meals for children at a holiday project.”
Organisations such as Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, which ran holiday programme Positive About Play, receive deliveries of nutritious food such as fruit, veg, sandwiches and juice from FareShare Merseyside.
Colin Heaney, Co-CEO at LCVS, said: “Children have a right to play in an environment that is safe, secure and exciting and our Positive About Play programme does just that by bringing together over 70 local partners to deliver local play schemes.
“Healthy eating and good nutrition are central to the ethos of what we are trying to do – that is, give children the opportunity to learn and develop through play and our partnership with FareShare is a really important one.”
To find out more and donate FareShare’s ActiveAte campaign, visit www.fareshare.org.uk/activeate.