Half the children helped by food banks are of primary school age, according to a leading charity.
The Trussell Trust also says the number of children being given emergency food supplies shot up by more than 4,000 in July and August last year compared to the previous two months.
This summer the trust plans to provide at least 60 food banks, many also offering a holiday club with activities for children and parents as well as hot meals.
Samantha Stapley, the trust's operations manager for England, said the figures highlighted 'just how close to crisis many families are living.'
She added: 'As a nation we also must address the reasons why families with children are referred to food banks in the first place.
'We welcome the Government’s decision to maintain free school lunches for children during term time – the next step must be to help families during the holidays.
‘Food banks are doing more than ever before but voluntary organisations alone cannot stop primary school children facing hunger.'