FareShare Greater Manchester, a surplus food redistribution charity, is tackling child hunger over the school holidays by diverting healthy meals and snacks to holiday schemes in Oldham.
In order to meet the specific needs of these vital schemes, FareShare is calling on food suppliers and producers to donate fruit, child-friendly snacks, wraps and low sugar juice as well as cereal bars, sandwiches, yogurt and spreads.
The charity is also appealing for more volunteers during July and August to give a minimum of 4 hours on a temporary basis, helping in the FareShare warehouse based in East Manchester.
Government figures show almost one in four children in Oldham are growing up in poverty - many of whom are eligible for free school meals. With this safety net removed over the summer many families face increased financial pressure, which in turn drives them further into food insecurity. Without money for activities, children also become socially isolated. As a result, many children will return to school malnourished, tired, less fit and unable to learn.
By providing healthy nutritious snacks and meals the charity will help to ensure that every child can access a healthy, varied diet, as well as enjoying plenty of fun activities like sport and drama.
Last year saw the charity provide food to 19 holiday schemes who between them helped feed almost 1,500 children each week. This year, FareShare is hoping to support more projects to reach more children in need, particularly in Oldham.
Miranda Kaunang, Head of Development at FareShare Greater Manchester, said: “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.
“Without this access over summer, families face a period of increased struggle with children at risk of hunger, isolation and inactivity.
“Our ActiveAte summer campaign will support the work of frontline holiday schemes working with children and young people, by providing regular deliveries of quality surplus food ready to be made into nutritious meals.”
Michelle Wright, Youth Coordinator at housing provider One Manchester which used FareShare food as part of its holiday scheme last year, said: “explains just why it’s so important for clubs to provide food over the summer break. “FareShare were a lifesaver for us. Having the packed lunches is a breath of fresh air for parents struggling with extra costs of the holidays - when parents are stressed the kids feel it too. Just knowing your children will have a healthy lunch reduces stress and anxiety, and improves mental health.”
To donate to and find out more about FareShare’s ActiveAte campaign, visit http://fareshare.org.uk/ActiveAte
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