Holiday Hunger: Chesterfield FC Community Trust sees rise in referrals for free school meal pupils

Chesterfield Football Club's Community Trust has said they have seen an increase in the number of referrals for children on free school meals over the summer holidays.

The trust has provided food for over 300 children during the six-week break - made possible through funding inspired by Marcus Rashford's holiday hunger campaign.

The Inspire Camp has offered free food and activities for children and young people, some of whom are disadvantaged or vulnerable - although it has been available to everyone.

Jayne Bacon, a community enforcement officer for the trust, said: "Some of these children are socially isolated so it can be a really long time all day every day.

"So for families, if there isn't a lot of finance in the home and families are also socially isolated, six weeks is a really long time."

Andrea Parkinson, senior education and wellbeing officer at Chesterfield FC, said: "We've got children with very complex needs, we've got children that are in receipt of free school meals, we have children that are in foster care.

"If it wasn't for camp this summer the 300 referrals that we've got - that's 300 kids that at home might not be having a nutritious meal."

One in eight people in the UK struggle to afford food according to the TUC and the Trussel Trust has said that the number of people using food banks has increased during the pandemic.