28 August 2019
Last summer, using food from FareShare Greater Manchester, housing provider One Manchester helped create just under 3,000 packed lunches for local children attending holiday clubs and Sure Start Children’s Centres.
Youth Coordinator Michelle Wright explains just why it’s so important for clubs to provide food over the summer break. “Normally, when they’re at school children will get a midday meal and a breakfast at the breakfast club. Over the summer those meals disappear. If, say, you’re a mum of six, then all of a sudden you’ve got to find 12 extra meals a day, as well as pay for activities to keep the kids entertained. That’s a huge cost if you’re on a low income. It’s not like you can find extra money by magic.
“Having the packed lunches is a breath of fresh air for parents struggling with extra costs of the holidays. When parents are stressed the kids feel it too. Just knowing your children will have a healthy lunch reduces stress and anxiety, and improves mental health.
“FareShare were a lifesaver for us. The cost was very low for what we could achieve. We had 13 young people aged between 13 and 17 volunteering with us to make the packed lunches. They received food hygiene certificates, as well as gaining cooking and food preparation skills.
“Our packed lunches are all healthy. Sandwiches, yogurts, fruit and little cheeses. And we are able to offer a vegetarian option that’s halal as well. Last year, FareShare even delivered all sorts of exotic fruits that the children might not have tried before, like passion fruit and pomegranate.
“We were very keen to make sure that every child eats the same. Children can see and sense when they’re different, so if everyone eats the same things there’s no bullying, no one gets picked on. And they all eat together, just like at school. Having those packed lunches means that the youth workers delivering the sessions can concentrate on giving the children the best opportunities to play and learn.”
“FareShare were a lifesaver for us. The cost was very low for what we could achieve. We had 13 young people aged between 13 and 17 volunteering with us to make the packed lunches. They received food hygiene certificates, as well as gaining cooking and food preparation skills.”