Child hunger over school holidays, when families are unable to access free school meals, is especially prevalent during the summer break.
FareShare South West, a food redistribution charity based in Bristol, has launched #ActiveAteBristol to combat this, redistributing meals and snacks to holiday schemes across the city.
In order to meet the demand during this vital period, the charity is calling for volunteers to help pack, sort and deliver the food to children across Bristol.
The 2018 summer campaign saw FareShare South West provide food to 25 holiday schemes, providing an estimated 14,000 meals to children at risk of hunger over the school holidays. In 2019 the charity is aiming to go above and beyond this, providing enough food to serve 40,000 meals.
The safety net of free school meals is removed during the six-week summer holidays and many families are faced with increased financial pressure, along with stress of finding activities or supervision for their children. Without money for activities or food, children can become socially isolated and at risk of malnutrition.
FareShare works with 40 children’s holiday projects to offer free meals, food parcels and snacks alongside fun activities such as sport or drama to keep children healthy and active in the holidays.
“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,” says Julian Mines, CEO of FareShare South West.
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.
Julian says: “Our #ActiveAteBristol summer campaign will support the work of frontline holiday schemes across the city which work with children and young people, by providing regular deliveries of quality surplus food, we would really benefit from some extra volunteers, who would only need to give up a few hours a week.”
Read more: No good food should go to waste