A SCHEME to provide food for children and young people across Coventry during the school summer holidays after city charity Feed the Hungry teamed up with businesses and organisations.
Throughout July and August more than 70 different holiday camps and activity workshops are running for vulnerable people.
The Summer of Fun 2021 programme expects to feed children who would normally receive free school meals during term time.
It has been praised by Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South, who said: “In one of the richest countries in the world, it’s disgraceful that millions of people struggle to put food on the table and pay the bills.
“This hardship has become even worse during the pandemic.
“But here in Coventry, people have come together to support those in need.”
She added she was incredibly proud of the way organisations across Coventry had responded to provide good nutritious meals essential for children to thrive and reach their full potential.
The last year has seen the number of children in the region receiving free school meals reach a record high with one in six pupils, 14,451 children, in Warwickshire receiving free school meals from January of this year.
An extra 3,139 of these children have become eligible in the last year.
The Halo Centre, run by Feed The Hungry and home of Coventry Foodbank, is one of the vital food distribution centres needed for the summer Holiday Activity’s and Food programme (HAF programme) to go ahead this year.
Gavin Kibble MBE, Feed The Hungry’s Regional Operations Director, said: “It has been an incredibly tough year for children and families, and it is so important that we all come together so that children can have the summer they deserve.”
He added, through working with the HAF Summer of Fun, Feed The Hungry could holistically meet families’ needs, through food, creativity and friendship.
Feed The Hungry also played a central role in running the HAF programme at Easter, with the city council and volunteers.
It packed 3,100 Easter care parcels for local children over the holidays, distributed through 18 hubs across the city, including churches and community venues.
The HAF programme is a Department of Educations funded scheme involves a free large-scale holiday activity programme for young people between the ages of four and 16 eligible for free school meals. Activities included art workshops, sports camps and day trips to the beach.