“When the children are at home you’re feeding them more than when they would be at school having a free school meal.”
Struggling during the school holidays, mother of five Susan attended a Holiday Club run by her local food bank. The clubs provide food, fun activities and learning opportunities, helping to relieve the financial pressure that many families face outside of term-time.
Susan admits: “It’s expensive trying to get out and do things with the children, and when they’re at home you’re feeding them more than when they would be at school having a free school meal.”
So for many parents like Susan, offering food at the club makes a big difference: “Having the hot meals provided with this club has been nice, so I’ve only had to do a cheap meal in the evening, like a sandwich.”
The clubs offer a range of fun activities helping to alleviate the boredom and isolation that many children face during the long holidays. They also provide an opportunity for parents to socialise and know they’re not the only ones struggling during the holidays, as well as offering families a chance to spend some quality time together.
Susan found the club useful and hopes it runs in her area again: “I’ve been able to have adult conversations so it’s been a really nice break and a change from usually staying indoors,” she explained. “The activities have been really useful for me and the kids. I’ve been interacting with the children more than I do at home with them, so it’s made us bond together as well.”