This is MakeLunch.
School holidays are not just a break from the classroom. For many, they are also a break from hot meals.
For the thirteen weeks of school holidays this year, many pupils in the UK will not eat a hot meal each day. At school more than 1.2 million pupils who may otherwise go without are eligible to receive free school meals. Outside of term time though, free school meals are not available and many pupils are left without regular hot food.
This is where MakeLunch comes in. During school holidays, our network of churches and community groups open Lunch Kitchens across the UK to provide free, healthy, cooked food for pupils who usually receive free school meals. We believe that every child deserves to eat a cooked meal every day. If you agree, we need your help.
Since we started in July 2011 we've cooked and served over 50,000 meals in more than 100 locations in England, Scotland and Wales. All our Kitchens are run by volunteers and are relying on donations of money and time to make things happen. And because we believe that one meal for one child makes a difference, we know that every single volunteer at every single Kitchen is important.
It's not enough though. We need to do more. With the help of our Patron, Lindsay Graham, we are also working to eradicate holiday hunger on a national scale as part of the APPG for School Food’s Holiday Hunger Task Force. If you’re in to social media, you can search using the hashtag for updates #fillingtheholidaygap.
This story from one of our recent Lunch Kitchens reminds us why:
"We met a young dad with his 2 kids, he was desperate to help out, cleaning tables and sweeping floors. We didn't see him on the second day (the kids said he was still in bed) but nan brought the youngest child along. The sausage, mash and squash was the first thing he'd eaten that day. We had lots of leftovers so were able to plate the family up some extra meals for tea time."
It's sad to think that there are children around who aren't getting the meals they need. But it's great to know that our Lunch Kitchens are there providing food and support where they can.