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21 May 2019, 09:39 | Updated: 21 May 2019, 09:43
A new campaign is warning that thousands of children could go hungry in Bristol this summer.
This is according to the charity Feeding Bristol, which provides support across the city and believes around 11 thousand children face regularly going without a decent meal during the 2019 summer holidays.
To try and stop this, the charity has launched a city-wide campaign trying to encourage businessess and other groups to help raise £100,000 to provide food for these children.
Feeding Bristol chairman Andy Street said: "Bristol has the highest number of children claiming free school meals in the South West and amongst the highest proportion in the country at nearly 20 per cent.
"We are acutely aware of the devastating effects of holiday hunger on children's mental and physical wellbeing and had put forward ambitious plans to government to continue the good work we had been doing in the city last year.
"These plans have not been supported, so we have a funding gap which could mean that thousands of children will go hungry in July and August.
"This should not be accepted in one of the country's most successful, thriving cities. We are therefore working with city and business leaders to urgently address this crisis. There is a lot to do, quickly, but we have been encouraged by the level of support we have had so far."
Working in partnership with FareShare SW and other local bodies, Feeding Bristol say the funding would enable them to prepare and deliver food to a network of activity providers, youth and community groups across the city, delivering more than 67 thousand meals to children and their families.
One such organisation is the charity Young Bristol, which operates a network of community clubs across the city. These clubs are open all year round and host programmes and activities for young people during the school holidays.
Young Bristol's Programme Manger, Matt Donnelly said: "Our youth workers have been aware of the issues surrounding holiday hunger for a long time, but we have noticed that the problem has worsened in recent years.
"When many of our children struggle to get enough food during term, it's clear to us that the problem will be worse during the holidays.
"That is why this campaign is so important to us, and the city of Bristol. We hope as many businesses as possible help us to tackle this crisis and stop thousands of children and young people going without meals this summer."
Anyone who is interested in helping can contact Feeding Bristol on firstname.lastname@example.org