In July 2020, local charity St John’s Foundation joined forces with Feeding Britain and Bath & North East Somerset Council to launch a £30,000 fund to ensure no child in Bath and the surrounding area went hungry during the summer holiday.
Every child deserves to eat nutritious food and be protected from hunger. However, despite the Government’s recent and welcomed U-turn on free school meals during the summer holidays, there are many organisations working with hungry children in Bath & North East Somerset who still require urgent financial support. We hope this new fund will enable their vital work to continue, both over the summer and in the long-term.
David Hobdey, CEO – St John’s Foundation
The Holiday Food Grant Programme was jointly funded by Feeding Britain and St John’s Foundation and orchestrated by Bath & North East Somerset Council, as part of their Food Poverty Steering Group. Each grant enabled charities and statutory services in Bath and North East Somerset to deliver support to families with children at risk of hunger and malnutrition.
Councillor Rob Appleyard, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for Adult Services, Safeguarding and Public Health, explained why this new fund comes at a critical time for local families. He said:
We know that use of local food banks across B&NES was rising year on year prior to the coronavirus pandemic and since lockdown even more people have become financially vulnerable. As a result, we have seen a significant rise in demand for emergency food aid locally and know that this need is likely to continue for some time. Our partnership with St John’s and Feeding Britain will help local families access the support they need right now, as well as developing longer term solutions to tackling food insecurity.
A core aim of the Holiday Food Grant Programme was to create lasting change across Bath & North East Somerset, so that in the future all families can afford and have access to, a healthy diet. To reach their goal, the funders supported projects that not only help hungry children over the summer months, but also aimed to reduce the risk of food poverty and insecurity in the future. Andrew Forsey, National Director of Feeding Britain, highlighted why this long-term approach is crucial to tackling this issue,
Families across the UK have found themselves in an impossible situation due to Covid-19, however the detrimental impact of this crisis will be felt for a long time to come. This is why it is incredibly important that we complement our emergency response with sustainable solutions. By funding projects that are taking a long-term view, we will help to protect children and their families from hunger both now and in the future.