Foodbanks Fighting Holiday Hunger

8 August 2018, 12:10 | Updated: 8 August 2018, 12:11

Foodbank

Heart has been speaking to Foodbanks in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire on the pressure of holiday hunger.

Heart has been speaking to Foodbanks in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire on the pressure of holiday hunger.

Last summer, The Trussell Trust handed out 74,000 emergency food packages to children.

And like many others, Luton's Foodbank has been busier this year. Project Co-coordinator Amar Azam said: "Last week we gave out 212 food parcels, which is around a 15% to 20% increase on this time last year".

And he added that he is expecting to see a big impact from the changes of Universal Credit:

"By and large it has been quite steady. However, with the benefit changes being rolled out nationwide we do expect a marked uptake in our services in the coming months."

Around 1,000 food parcels have been handed out in the last month at the Foodbank in Milton Keynes.

Project Manager John Marshall told Heart how the summer holidays can be a real struggle for parents: It's a long period when you've got children at home who a probably going to be, hopefully, out playing in the nice weather...But will actually be at home eating more; which puts a strain on the family budget."
Last year's report from The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger estimated the loss of free school meals during the summer holidays adds around £30 or £40 per child, per week to households.

All the Foodbanks we spoke to say they've seen continuous high demand this summer, despite a drop in donations.