Holiday hunger is the term to describe when poor families go hungry during the summer holidays or half term because their children no longer have access to free school meals.
It’s a major issue that has resulted in thousands of people in the UK dreading the school holidays, even though this time is supposed to be enjoyable for all. This year, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the issue of holiday hunger is significantly worse than usual.
Most schools have been closed since March to prevent the virus’s spread, which has resulted in families going months without the free school meals they rely on to get by. This is particularly devastating in Blackpool, where 26.1% of children are from low-income families. If you want to help your local community during these trying times, then you should read on.
Here are some of the best ways you can reduce holiday hunger:
1. Charitable organisations
Being proactive is key to reducing holiday hunger. You can do this by donating to organisations in your local community which are working towards this goal, too. For example, investor Tej Kohli is partnering with the Salvation Army to provide sustainable funding for local communities so they can eliminate holiday hunger together.
Aside from donating money to charities, you can also join these organisations yourself and become a part of their operations. Volunteers are needed to collect food donations, sort them into boxes, and then deliver them to the families in need.
2.) Donating food
Feeding a whole family is incredibly costly, so low-income parents will often go without during the school holidays so they can still provide food to their children. This shouldn’t ever be the case – especially with the amount of food waste we produce here in the UK.
If you have tins that have been sitting in your cupboard for a few months, then there’s no harm in donating them to less fortunate families. We also encourage people who can afford it to buy new supermarket food for the holiday hunger cause.
Non-perishable foods are ideal alongside meals which don’t require kitchen facilities to be made (as many poorer families don’t have them). Think about donating cereal and cereal bars, ready to eat fruit, wraps and sandwich fillers, yoghurt, and portable snacks like crisps or carrot bags.
3.) Raising awareness
Many people from more affluent families are blissfully unaware of the struggles that the working-class face. These people have the money and resources which could make a massive difference to the holiday hunger cause. As such, we encourage people to spread awareness on their social media and educate their friends or family. Hopefully, by building enough momentum for the cause, we can inspire the government to increase funding for free school meals. These campaigns have already worked as a COVID summer food fund is now available to children eligible for free school meals.
These are the main ways we can challenge holiday hunger in our local community. Food is a basic human right that everyone should have access to.
main ways we can challenge holiday hunger in our local community.