The school summer holidays are fast approaching. For many families in Birmingham, this means additional pressure on the family food budget. For many children it simply means hunger.
The impact of holiday hunger is widely documented. John Vincent, who helped develop the school food plan said “there’s enough anecdotal evidence to say that some children come back to school less well nourished and generally in less good shape [than when they left], and they go backwards academically” in an interview with the Guardian.
So what is happening in response to this?
One response from Birmingham is Holiday Kitchen; a project launched in 2013, to provide community meals and family activities during school holidays. An evaluation report published in January 2015 concludes:
“that Holiday Kitchen is an extremely effective programme for meeting the needs of low-income families and their children during the summer holidays”,
In the 2014 summer holiday, it worked with partners to deliver 2,300 activity days and meals to almost 300 participants across 11 sites in Birmingham, Sandwell and North Solihull.
There is a need to tackle the underlying causes of holiday hunger, but with weeks to go until the holiday the most pressing need is to feed our children.