Food banks scramble to stop a million children going hungry over holidays.
Summer Holiday Hunger
During the summer holidays, many families who receive financial support struggle more due to lack of childcare and meal support at school.
This year, this has been increasingly difficult for those who have moved onto Universal Credit.
"I regularly meet parents for whom the school holiday means they must skip meals to ensure their children have enough"
Paul Morrison, adviser at Methodist church
Church and community food banks are preparing for their busiest summer yet, providing meals for children during the school holidays as an increasing number of families struggle with delays in benefit payments.
The Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food banks, many based in churches, said demand over the next few weeks could exceed last year's record of 87,496 food parcels during the summer holidays. The 2018 figure was a 20% increase on the same period the previous year.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the trust, said: "Food banks will do all they can to help families over the summer, with many running holiday clubs to support parents who find their income simply won't stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare during the holidays."
The biggest increases between 2017 and 2018 were seen in the north-east and London, where the number of food parcels distributed in the summer holidays rose by 26.3% and 25.8% respectively. A parliamentary report two years ago estimated that the loss of free school meals over the school holidays added £30 to £40 per week to household outgoings, and that more than 1 million children were at risk of going hungry.
Contact the circuit office for details of the Leigh food bank.
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