MP Kerry welcomes £30,000 grant to end holiday hunger

August 03 2018

MP Kerry McCarthy has welcomed a grant to help families in Bristol who struggle to feed their children during the summer holidays because free school meals are not available.

The £30,000 cash injection is to be given to Feeding Bristol from the Department of Education.

Working with local partners – Youth Moves, Young Bristol and Fit & Fed -  Feeding Bristol will be making summer holiday meals and activities available to hundreds of children across the Bristol area. 

Feeding Bristol, part of the national Feeding Britain network, is a coalition of local charities and community organisations working to provide access to good food for all across Bristol. The summer holiday clubs are part of a national initiative to make holiday food and fun available to children and families around the country. 

Ms McCarthy, MP for Bristol West and a supporter of Feeding Bristol, said: "I am delighted that Feeding Bristol was successful in our joint bid to receive funding as a holiday hunger pilot area. 

"Bristol is the third wealthiest city in the country but too many children in our city go hungry during the school holidays. It’s a blight on their childhood and on their future, with children returning to school after the break educationally and developmentally behind their peers. 

"Feeding Bristol is working with those who are running holiday clubs to fill the gap, so all children can enjoy their summer holidays, and this funding will make a valuable contribution towards such work."

Three million children in the UK are at risk of going hungry during school holidays. The summer holiday is particularly hard, as low-income families can struggle to cover the additional food costs over six weeks in the absence of free school meals. Holiday clubs have a beneficial effect on children’s health, physical activity levels, educational progress and social skills. 

This summer, the Department for Education will provide £2 million nationwide to support research into best practices for holiday clubs. Eight areas within Feeding Britain’s network have been selected to take part in the programme, with holiday provision running across schools, community centres, church halls and youth groups. The other areas taking part in the 2018 Summer Holiday Provision programme are Leicester, Coventry, Cheshire West, Bradford, Merseyside, South Shields and Barnsley. 

For more information contact the chair of Feeding Bristol, Andrew Street, on 0777 1905801

or email astreet@slrconsulting.com