One in four UK children now live in poverty, of which three million are at risk of going hungry over the school holidays (DCMS and Child Poverty Action Group 2016). With the safety net of free school meals no longer in place, the holidays often intensify poverty among low income families. These families have told FareShare that additional costs for childcare and activities, as well as good food, over school holidays can be a real strain on families – with children in some cases returning to school malnourished, tired and unable to learn.
As part of an effort to ease pressure and support vulnerable families, ActiveAte will see FareShare work with over 200 community groups across the UK to provide balanced, nutritious meals for up to 20,000 children and families in the UK.
FareShare is supporting projects which will provide free food and activities including sport, to ensure that children keep active and enjoy their summer holidays on a full stomach, ready to return to school in September happy and healthy.
FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell said: “The summer holidays should be a carefree time for young people, presenting an opportunity for them to have new experiences and develop social skills. Yet without the food provided by school breakfast and lunch clubs, unfortunately many families face a period of struggle with children at risk of hunger, isolation and inactivity. Our nationwide ActiveAte campaign will support the work of over 200 frontline charities across the UK which work with children and young people. These charities will receive regular deliveries of nutritious food from FareShare.”
Food Industry appeal
During this time of additional pressure, FareShare is appealing to the food industry to provide increased volumes of child-friendly, healthy, easy preparation food and drinks to meet the demand from holiday projects.”