Lottery funding allows food bank to fill school meals gap

Food bank seeks to fill the free school meals gap during holidays
Food bank seeks to fill the free school meals gap during holidays

NATIONAL LOTTERY FUNDING is to be used by a Moray food bank to launch a ‘healthy eating’ club in the region.

Aimed at the poorest children in Moray who might normally receive free school meals but whose families struggle to keep them fed during school term breaks, the Moray Community Food group will this Easter launch a new ‘holiday hunger’ initiative.

Funding of £10,000 will be provided by the National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ programme for the project that is being run in conjunction with the Keith-based Loft youth project.

Project manager for Moray Community Food, Mairi McCallum, said: “Through the food bank we are aware that families who receive free school meals for their children face difficulties during holidays.

“We find that referrals go up then and more people rely on food parcels – this club will offer these children a healthy meal as well as fun activities like cooking, art and dance classes.”

Aimed at primary school age children the new club will on each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through school holidays from 10am to 2pm.

Last year one local authority in Scotland moved to provide free school meals for qualifying children during the holidays as well as in term-time – something that was commonplace in the 1960’s. North Ayrshire Council opened 10 primary schools most days for ‘out of school activities’ with children from 24 schools eligible to attend.

Free school meals are provided during these sessions for those children who normally qualify while other children could also enjoy a school meal at £2 each.

People who are interested in applying for the Moray scheme should contact the food bank on 01343 208293.