Holiday Hunger - the six week problem

Although sport is at the heart of what we do as a charity, there are times when other matters become more pressing, especially given the demographic of young people who we work with. The holidays present the biggest threat to many of our young people, as they encounter the ever-growing issue of holiday hunger. Along with StreetGames, we’re trying to help more young people stay Fit and Fed this summer.

The end of July means the start of the six week summer holiday for school-aged children nationwide. Holidays should be a time of rest and enjoyment for all children and young people before they continue with their education, but the reality of this statement is becoming ever more questionable, with holiday hunger and use of food banks ever on the rise.

The Trussell Trust, which runs over 420 food banks across the UK, reports that “nearly half (47%) of 67,506 parcels [last summer holidays] went to primary-school-age children”, an increase of over 4,000 from the year before. This figure is only set to rise further this summer.

In Derbyshire alone, there are 19,412 school-aged children and young people who are eligible to claim a free school lunch every day. This means the holidays present the danger of these 19,142 young people going hungry, as families struggle to pay for the weekly food bill, which increases by £40 on average, a simply unrealistic stretch for many of our young people’s families.

This summer, we’re incorporating more food than ever into our sessions to try and combat this issue. In Derwent, Derby, we’ve received a grant from The Gordon Trust which will allow us to deliver weekly cooking sessions, where children and their families can learn how to cook simple, healthy meals on a budget – and enjoy the products of their labour of course.

In Rother, Chesterfield we’re again working in partnership with the Rother Active Youth committee to deliver a summer full of activities and meals for the area’s young people, thanks to Big Lottery funding and dedicated local workers and volunteers.

In Cotmanhay, Erewash, we’re delivering a similar programme with local partners, which will see activities and food run alongside each other throughout summer. We’re using FareShare in this area, which allows us to collect surplus food from local Tesco stores to use across our sessions. The start of this partnership has been hugely successful and we are looking to implement it across Derbyshire in some of our hardest to reach communities. A full breakdown of our summer activities is available here.

We want to help as many children and young people through the holidays, and although we’re already doing more than before this summer, there are thousands of children and young people who will be going hungry this summer. If you want to support us in helping this problem across Derbyshire, please get in touch megan@sporting-futures.org.uk.   

Information taken from:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40704186

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-charac...

http://www.fareshare.org.uk/

July 2017