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School holidays prompt big rise in demand at foodbanks

Colchester's foodbank says demand for their service has increased significantly as the school summer holidays get underway.

They're warning children who get school meals during term time can find themselves facing hunger during the holidays.

School holidays prompt big rise in demand at foodbanks Credit: ITV Anglia

Over the last year the Trussell Trust, which runs 420 foodbanks across the country, gave out 129,261 three day emergency supplies to families in the east.

Last year in Colchester, Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe the number of supplies given out during July and August was 3,500 more than the two months before.

Primary school aged children were most likely to receive support from a foodbank last summer.

Last year's report from The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger estimated the loss of free school meals during the holidays adds between £30 and £40 a week to parents' outgoings for one child.

"No one should need a foodbank's help, and we're determined to work alongside other foodbanks in The Trussell Trust's network to bring about long-term change to end hunger not only during the holidays, but at any time of year. Whilst we work towards this, we'll continue to take practical action on the ground, providing the best emergency support possible to local people facing hunger. It's only with the community's help that we're able to continue, as we rely on local donations to run the foodbank."

– Michael Beckett, Chief Officer at Colchester Foodbank
School holidays prompt big rise in demand at foodbanks Credit: ITV Anglia

"Foodbanks cannot, and must not, be a long term to solution to hunger at any time of year. No one should face going hungry, and although our network will be doing all they can this summer to help families struggling to make the money they have stretch to cover the essentials, no charity can replace people having enough money for the basics."

– Samantha Stapley, Director of Operations at The Trussell Trust