Volunteers help children suffering 'Holiday Hunger'

Free school meals are a lifeline for many families but when term ends and the summer holidays begin, up to three million children in Britain face weeks of going hungry.

The result is that when they return to school they risk being malnourished and less able to concentrate, falling behind their more wealthy peers.

FACES in Bedford Credit: ITV News

In recognition of the scale of the problem, last month the government announced a £2 million fund to help support families through holiday hunger.

And at a local level, volunteers and charities are also stepping in.

FACES in Bedford Credit: ITV News

In Bedford the charity 'FACES' https://www.facesbedford.org/ has just 8 members of staff, with the rest of their outreach work with families being done by 131 volunteers.

This includes the preparation and serving of daily meals at 'lunch box' at Bedford's Church Lane Community Centre.

The charity's chief executive Wendie Harvey, says they couldn't put lunchbox on without their volunteers.

"We are proud to be a volunteer led organisation. We only have a very small staff team which means we can keep our costs really low. "We invest a lot in our volunteers, they have a lot of training, and they are the back bone of our charity. Also volunteering is a very rewarding thing to do."

Wendie Harvey, Faces Bedford

If you would like to volunteer in your local area, Wendi Harvey suggests going to the Do-it Trust's website https://do-it.org/opportunities/search which provides a postcode search for organisations close to you.