Holiday hunger scheme extended to help feed children in need

Organisations can apply for grants.
Organisations can apply for grants.

Organisations are being urged to apply for grants to help make sure children don’t go hungry during the school summer holidays.

This year £42,000 is available – up from £25,000 last year – to help statutory, voluntary, community and charitable organisations provide food to young people as part of their summer activity programmes.

Steven Carter.

Steven Carter.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday, June 21.

The maximum amount any single organisation can bid for is £3,000 and bids should equate to no more than £3 per meal per child.

Last year, Hartlepool Borough Council’s “Holiday Hunger” pilot scheme involved it working in partnership with Hartlepool Foodbank to put together and distribute food parcels from three venues in the town, as well as providing financial support to organisations to run their own anti-food poverty schemes.

It has now been decided to direct all available money to local organisations.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of the council, said: “During the six-week holidays, many children don’t receive the meals they would usually get free at school, so it is important that we fill this gap. We think the best way of doing this is by providing organisations with funding so that they can develop their own bespoke schemes for tackling food poverty that directly address the needs of communities. Despite the huge financial challenges facing the council, we remain fully committed to tackling the high levels of deprivation that seriously affect parts of our town and providing support to the most hard-pressed families with children.”

The following areas will form the grant scheme’s key priorities, with funding targeted at:

Organisations that are supporting children and young people through the provision of healthy and nutritious meals, snacks or food parcels during the school summer holiday period.

Organisations providing family-based activities over the school holiday period, where practical healthy eating and/or cooking skills education could be incorporated.

Organisations providing crafts or physical activity opportunities, which would benefit from the provision of healthy and nutritious meals, snacks or food parcels as part of the activity.

Organisations specifically working with vulnerable and/or disadvantaged families or children and young people in areas of high socio-economic deprivation, where food poverty rates may be higher.

Copies of the application form at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/filling-the-gap Contact health improvement practitioner Steven Carter on steven.carter@hartlepool.gov.uk.