Combatting ‘holiday hunger’ at Flintshire playschemes
A new initiative to deliver free meals to playschemes across Flintshire aims to prevent children from going hungry during the summer holidays.
Flintshire County Council is working in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Clwyd Alyn Housing Association and Travis Perkins Managed Services, delivered 3400 free meals to playschemes in the first week of the summer holidays.
A spokesperson for the initiative said:
‘Children are going hungry because their parents cannot afford to buy food. It is a shocking statement to make, but there are families in Flintshire who are in food poverty, unable to afford, or to have access to, food to make up a healthy diet.’
To help combat this unacceptable situation, Flintshire County Council and its partners have joined forces with “Can Cook” to launch this ambitious programme “Share Your Lunch” providing over 18,700 free meals – up to 625 meals a day – over the six-week summer holiday period to 20 play schemes throughout Flintshire.’
In response to the initiative, Marianne Mannello, Assistant Director of Play Wales says:
‘Both food and play are vitally important to the health, growth and wellbeing of children. Healthy children who are well fed and nourished have the resources to respond with enthusiasm and engagement to play opportunities and new and enriching experiences.
Play Wales welcomes the commitment of play teams and their partners across Wales to make food available to children attending holiday playschemes. Most of these are free at the point of entry, take place in neighbourhoods where children live and appeal to families as there is no formal referral system.
We know that every aspect of children’s lives is influenced by their urge to play, and that the kind of self-directed, self-determined playing offered by quality holiday play provision increases children’s opportunities to build their own resilience. Play is central to a healthy child’s life, and we are confident that the provision of food in holiday playschemes is one of the best ways to support children and families during the school summer holidays.’