“FareShare South West food has helped start different conversations around food.”

“FareShare South West food has helped start different conversations around food.”

Research shows that children from low-income households are more likely to experience “unhealthy holidays in terms of nutrition and physical health.” In 2018, the UK government launched their Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) programme – to make sure children that rely on free school meals during term time, don’t go hungry when the school gates close. To access this funding, organisations must provide every child that uses their services, with at least one cooked meal. In the face of soaring food costs, this is more and more challenging, especially for small charities….which is where support from FareShare South West comes in.

This summer, we’ve added a further 55 holiday projects to our regular delivery rounds, providing food for children at risk of holiday hunger. With food from local suppliers including Yeo Valley, Wyke Farms and Hobbs House Bakery, we’ve been able to provide hundreds of children with high-quality nutrition they deserve.

One charity helping to keep children happy and healthy over the school holidays is Imayla. They provide a creative space for young people, families and groups, by combining creative arts and environmental activities. Their holiday projects have varied, from organised trips to the beach to forest school sessions in local woodlands; a big part of their holiday service is focused on educating children.

Every Thursday, Imayla turn up at our central Bristol warehouse to collect food for the week ahead. They’ll turn this food into packed lunches, make it into sharing picnic boxes for trip days, or build recipe kits for families to “make their own meal” at home. As a charity that caters for families from different cultural backgrounds, raw, whole ingredients like fruit and vegetables, pulses, rice and pasta – are particularly popular because families can use them in their own recipes.

The last play day organised by Imayla saw a huge 350 children and their families turn up. Food from FareShare South West was essential to cater for this unexpected turnout.

Director, Fiona Castle told us that “Using FareShare South West food has helped start different conversations around food. One week, we got corned beef which is nutritious and cheap, but which many families hadn’t seen before or rarely used these days. This kicked off conversations about cooking on a budget. Plus, it’s helped us get creative. We don’t know exactly what we might get each week – it’s been fun working together with children and families to come up with new ideas, And of course we’re pleased to be making best use of food that might otherwise be wasted.”