Over 2,000 children on free school meals in Liverpool receiving meals over summer holidays through (LPP) Liverpool Play Partnership
Over 1500 of those children are receiving meals from food redistribution charity FareShare through the Partnership’s holiday play schemes. The holiday play schemes have been set up to ensure children who get free school meals in term-time continue to get fed all year round during school holidays.
FareShare is delivering food to 55 of the 71 play schemes supported by LPP which include children’s breakfast and lunch clubs. MPAC (Merseyside Play Action Council) and Liverpool Charity & Voluntary Services (LCVS), two of the lead partners in LPP, have seen a dramatic rise in the number of children and families experiencing food poverty over the past five years.
Ann Dobie who is a Coordinator at MPAC said:
“We’ve seen a huge rise in the number of children in food poverty at the play schemes this year and the problem has become so big that we are now having to help feed some of their families. Many community organisations have experienced funding cutbacks but in partnership with LCVS we have been able to work with the Local Authority, Public Health and other Trusts to bring in new funding and support from the LPP, including FareShare, which has meant that we have been able to develop the programme.”
“We make sure children who do get free meals in schools don’t miss out when they are on school holidays. The play schemes have an estimated 30 children per session but there are still a large number out there who need our help.”
Charlene Spencer who is Manager of the FareShare Regional Centre in Merseyside said:
FareShare which celebrates its 10th anniversary as an independent organisation this year, tackles food poverty through redistributing food surplus (within the food and drink industry) to charities. It estimates that up to 400,000 tonnes of this food surplus is edible and in date and could provide 800m meals; equivalent to 13 meals per person in the UK. Visit www.fareshare.org.uk
For more information on the work of MPAC, who offer support, advice and training for staff, volunteers and service users of play schemes visit www.merseyplay.com . For more information on LCVS, the umbrella body for the charity and voluntary sector in Liverpool, visit www.lcvs.org.uk
The LPP partners consist of; FareShare, The Mayoral Hardship Fund, The Public Health Directorate LCC, CCG (NHS), Liverpool Youth and Play Service, JM Foundation, PH Holt, Community Foundation Merseyside, Anne Duchess of Westminster Charity, CAB Alliance, Liverpool Food Alliance and Liverpool Community Transport.
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