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Foodbank for the Summer Holidays

(155 Posts)
GloGirl Thu 07-Jul-16 10:34:37

The summer holidays might be a financial stretch for a lot of families who are losing out on their child's breakfast clubs and free school meals for lunch.

Just a thought for people to donate to their local food back and add in a few items that would be appreciated by children in the summer.

Posting in AIBU for traffic - so feel free to debate the topic whilst I am here! brew

ohidoliketobe Thu 07-Jul-16 10:39:18

Lovely suggestion.
One of my friends is a deputy head teacher of a primary school in a very deprived area, and many of the children who receive free school meals (including breakfast in that area) confide in teachers that there just isn't enough food in their houses to provide 3 meals a day for every family member.

ohidoliketobe Thu 07-Jul-16 10:39:45

In the holidays I forgot to add

SuburbanRhonda Thu 07-Jul-16 10:40:25

There are also many projects across the country which provide a lunch for children in vulnerable families. My local church has set up a scheme where referred families can bring their children and are given a pack of sandwiches, a home-made cake and a piece of fruit every day for free. Parents can help themselves to a cup of filter coffee or tea.

I think it's a great scheme. I'm just trying hard not to think about how it's possible that in a developed world, people are unable to feed their children.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 07-Jul-16 10:41:18

This is during the summer holidays, as are most of the "Make Lunch" schemes.

witsender Thu 07-Jul-16 10:43:58

We run an extra scheme over the summer, for those who may not qualify for a normal voucher but can get a referral letter from school, HV etc which entitles them to a parcel of essentials once a week for the whole holidays.

Atlas15 Thu 07-Jul-16 10:46:23

I think that the government needs to take more responsibility. Before you could get a crisis loan and pay it back.
Now they tell you to go to a food bank which in my area is only open two days a week.
The food banks are not government run which means that the government are shunning their responsibilities and they are passing it on to the good will of the local community.
The more we see food banks as an option the more the government can distance themselves from helping the vulnerable people in the community.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 07-Jul-16 10:49:50

You're quite right, atlas, but the government doesn't understand issues like families whose children normally have free school meals not being able to afford to feed them in the summer holidays.

EveOnline2016 Thu 07-Jul-16 10:54:43

I can't see why the government can't just give the families who get FSM the cash in which the school meals cost.

I pay £20 a week for my 2 DC school meals which i use for the holidays. But those on FSM don't have this option.

youshouldcancelthecheque Thu 07-Jul-16 11:14:21

Great reminder, there is a food bank in my Sainsburys, I will donate some stuff next time I shop.

Can you give me a steer on what sort of things to donate?

KissMyArse Thu 07-Jul-16 11:17:21

I can't see why the government can't just give the families who get FSM the cash in which the school meals cost.

That would rely on the families spending the money on food for their children. Not all families will do that. A supermarket voucher (no alcohol or tobacco) might be a better option without, hopefully, stigmatising the families - as opposed to the old style 'vouchers' that were handed out by the DSS.

KissMyArse Thu 07-Jul-16 11:18:31

Can you give me a steer on what sort of things to donate?

I'd check with your local foodbank as they regularly update what is needed. It will vary from area to area.

Hirosleaftunnel Thu 07-Jul-16 11:19:24

I think that the government needs to take more responsibility Why can't the parents make more of an effort to provide food for their children?

Lappy214 Thu 07-Jul-16 11:22:21


Bless your innocence.

Sometimes however much money comes into a family it just isn't prioritised so that the children are fed and clothed appropriately.

ThomasRichard Thu 07-Jul-16 11:24:19

It's shameful that children go hungry in one of the richest countries in the world.

Why can't the parents make more of an effort to provide food for their children?

seriously?! and if they don't have any spare money?! Where would you like them to get the money from?!

Fucking hell.

Babyroobs Thu 07-Jul-16 11:33:29

People on the lowest incomes who are likely to be getting fsm, get approx £75 a week per child in child tax credits and child benefit I think. Food can be bought very cheaply in places like Licl, Iceland ( porridge oats or cheap cereal etc). As pp have said though it also depends on the actual benefit money being used for the kids and not spent on debts etc. I think also there are often problems with gaps in benefits/ people being sanctioned etc which cause problems. I often look at my 3 teenage boys and how much they eat and wonder how people on benefits cope. They should increae the rate for teenagers , there is no comparison between what it takes to keep a toddler in shoes and food and a teenager !!

BarbaraofSeville Thu 07-Jul-16 11:37:49

If children are going hungry then surely it's a money prioritisation issue, most of the time at least?

All families (unless there is a high earner) receive child benefit and families on lower incomes with children receive tax credits, housing benefit etc.

Food is pretty much the number 1 priority, along with rent/mortgage and fuel to cook food. So even if a family cannot afford anything else, they should have enough money to pay the rent and feed the children surely? Basic food like porridge, beans, eggs, cost very little.

If people can't or won't spend that money on feeding their children, it's not the Government's fault and it's nothing to do with whether we are a rich or poor country.

There might be situations with mistakes with benefits being stopped, or mortgage holders keeping paying the mortgage that they get no help with to avoid losing their house, but there will nearly always be enough money to buy basic food at least to stop people going hungry.

sharknad0 Thu 07-Jul-16 11:40:18

sell items, ironing, gardening, dog walking, babysitting, temp work, wash cars, farm work, house sitting whilst owners are on holidays (or cat or dog sitting), cleaning, supermarkets, become an ebay seller for other people...

the summer is the best time to earn a bit of cash, when people go on holiday, take time off work to be with their kids, tourists are coming, fruit and veg needing to be picked (depending on your area).

Babyroobs Thu 07-Jul-16 11:45:30

Shark - Most of the jobs you suggest might be a bit tricky with a few kids in tow in that are on their school holidays ! I'm looking at this from the persepctive of perhaps a one parent with a few kids. Also doing casual work is not beneficial to most people , it messes up their benefit entitlement and leaves them in a worse position, unless you are going to risk doing cash in hand work.

Lelloteddy Thu 07-Jul-16 11:45:42

I don't think anybody is arguing that food 'should' be a priority. But the reality is that it's not. People make poor choices all the time. But ultimately for as long as it's children who are suffering, if we can afford to help then we should. I had to rely on benefits for a period of time after leaving an abusive marriage. I had more than enough money to live on but my kids were lucky because I was able to prioritise and spend wisely. Many children are not so lucky. DD has a school friend who spends 4 or 5 days a week here during the holidays and I feed him as much as I can because he's a vulnerable little boy who currently doesn't have one guaranteed hot meal a day.

EveOnline2016 Thu 07-Jul-16 11:52:42

I know some parents will see it as a bonus and spend it on other things.

Perhaps a supermarket

EveOnline2016 Thu 07-Jul-16 11:52:54


Vixster99 Thu 07-Jul-16 12:13:12

One of my neighbours (2 adults & one child aged 10) are on benefits & always seem short of money. During school hols the son lives on biscuits unless he's lucky enough to get offered something by one of his friends' mums. But a lot of the problems I see are of their own making. They both smoke, and I rarely see them in the garden without a can of lager in their hands. They seem to live off value pizzas, burgers and frozen chips. I pointed out she could get 2 decent & far more nutritious meals out of a chicken & £1's worth of veg, and I even gave her a slow cooker (& cookery books).

She sold the slow cooker on Ebay.

I know there are many people with genuine needs (benefit sanctions or payments cock-ups etc) but I can't help but think that many need help with budgeting & prioritising their spending. If you can't afford to feed a 10 yr old you shouldn't be buying fags & booze.

sparechange Thu 07-Jul-16 12:13:49

We can all debate the reasons for why there are families needing to use foodbanks, but that doesn't help the children stuck living with feckless/disorganised/addict parents who could use their income to provide food, but for whatever reason don't

It is a very imperfect answer to the problem, but at least it is one which puts food into hungry tummies and brings parents into contact with groups which can offer lasting help to the problems many of the parents have

Where empty cupboards are entirely the fault of bad parents making bad decisions about prioritising money, the chances are they won't suddenly snap out of their fecklessness. Kids will go hungry and suffer the consequences, and still have feckless parents.
You can't 'cure' it by leaving them to miss meals

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