School holidays food poverty project planned
Children’s sector umbrella body Children in Scotland will test a new programme to address food poverty by providing meals for children in schools at weekends and during holidays.
As well as meals volunteers will provide training in cooking and nutrition, supported by business and industry.
The charity will be joined by Scottish Business in the Community (SBC) and UK food supply company Brakes to launch the ‘Food, Families and Futures programme’ in two test sites, in Ibrox in Glasgow and Irvine in North Ayrshire in spring next year.
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The communities were chosen because of their high levels of child poverty. Both Ibrox Primary School and Irvine Royal Academy have a high take-up of free school meals during term time.
Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock said levels of food poverty among children are “completely unacceptable” and can impact wellbeing, learning and attainment.
“Free school meals are a lifeline for many families, but when this provision ends, at weekends and in particular during holidays, it can mean crisis. That’s why we have taken action to devise a project that will empower schools and communities to access meals and activities during these key times of greatest need,” she said.
SBC’s chief executive Jane Wood said business could play a “powerful role” in communities as a force for change.
“SBC is determined to unlock the education, employment and enterprise potential of our disadvantaged communities. We are proud to support Children in Scotland's innovative Food, Families and Futures project,” she said.