The Trussell Trust is urging people to donate food to their local food bank to help support families with children during the summer holidays.
Over 87,000 food parcels went to children in the UK during the summer holidays in 2018 – a 20% increase on the same period in 2017, according to new figures from the food bank charity.
The Trussel Trust say that over a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the UK go to children.
However, the charity warns there is an extra financial pressure during the holiday period for families who are entitled to free school meals during term time.
‘Food banks will do all they can to help families over the summer, with many running holiday clubs to support parents who find that their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare during the holidays,’ said the Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie.
‘But no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money for the basics.’
The Trussell Trust believes tackling delays and gaps in benefits should be treated as a priority by the Government. They also called for an end to the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment, a key driver of need at food banks in the charity’s network.
‘While it’s great to see schemes in place to tackle holiday hunger, food banks and other emergency food provision cannot, and must not, be a long term solution to poverty,’ said Ms Revie.
‘Ultimately, we should all be protected from needing a food bank’s help, no matter the time of the year.’
A survey of 1,200 frontline support workers by the children’s charity Buttle UK revealed yesterday that 60% see families more than once a week who are unable to afford the basics.
Half of the respondents also said they often see children fed breakfast and/or dinner at school because families cannot afford to feed them themselves.