Over the six-week school summer holidays, food charity FareShare South West is set to distribute over 30 tonnes of food, benefitting more than 50 holiday projects for children in Bristol.
The charity is working in partnership with Feeding Bristol, who have helped to identify the projects that need additional food support to prevent children from going hungry this summer. As a result, the “Food for Holiday Projects” activity will operate from the re-opened temporary warehouse at Ashton Gate Stadium, previously used by FareShare during 2020 to supply emergency food to frontline charities and other settings.
The FareShare team expects to distribute food for around 71,500 meals, with a mixture of both bulk deliveries of food for recipients to create meals as they choose, as well as smaller food parcels for distributing direct to families, plus packed lunches, which will be made by local school caterer, Zest Catering.
Some of the region’s local food businesses have pitched in to make this scale possible, including Yeo Valley and Wyke Farms, who are both donating significant quantities of fresh food for this activity.
Julian Mines, CEO at FareShare South West, says: “Before the pandemic, we knew that 1 in 4 children were at risk of hunger in Bristol and with the impacts of the past 15 months we anticipate that number has grown. School holidays are a key, time-critical moment to provide support to families to avoid them falling through the gaps and into more complex issues relating to poverty.
Year on year we’ve supported holiday projects in Bristol as these are a brilliant way to reach children who might otherwise go hungry.
We’re very grateful to Ashton Gate Stadium for again allowing us to expand our operations into their warehouse space and for local food businesses who are donating food for this work. The generosity shown will help us make a significant impact during the holidays whilst also continuing with our normal deliveries to all other frontline partners from our main warehouse.”
Ped Asgarin, Director at Feeding Bristol, says: “Since the pandemic, the number of children in Bristol eligible for Free School Meals has risen to over 16,000. Bristol City Council’s Your Holiday Hub programme will be supporting these children over the summer holidays by working with an established network of community organisations to provide a mixture of activities and food. Working closely with the council, we target the wards in the city that have the highest percentage of children eligible for free school meals, and support organisations working in those areas. Feeding Bristol work closely with FareShare South West to provide packed lunches that will cater for a range of dietary needs and are healthy, exciting and tasty.
The Children’s Kitchen, a Feeding Bristol project, will also be providing family cooking sessions over the summer and a range of literature and videos to help support families and organisations with recipes, and guidance on cooking with children and for children in an inclusive and engaging way.”
FareShare South West is calling on Bristol businesses to support the ‘Food for Holiday Projects’ activity by giving up a morning or afternoon throughout the summer to volunteer at the temporary warehouse, picking and packing food for deliveries. Any business who is interested is asked to email: email@example.com
Individuals wishing to donate to support this work can do so here.