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  1. ITV Report

Help for Plymouth families facing 'holiday hunger'

Families in Plymouth are facing 'holiday hunger' - but kind-hearted volunteers are stepping in to help.

Thousands of young people are living below the poverty line in the city's most deprived areas, many of whom get free school meals during term-time.

The summer break presents a challenge for cash-strapped parents.

But CATERed, a company which is jointly owned by the council and local schools, will fill the gap by handing out up to 12,000 free lunches over the next six weeks.

CATERed provides school meals in Plymouth Credit: ITV Westcountry

Six weeks is a long time, obviously the children want to be doing things, and unfortunately a lot of things these days cost money. So they're toying with whether to stretch that extra penny to go out for the day, or feed their children decent meals. So it's a struggle for them. I don't think a lot of people actually realise. Some children rely on their school meal as their only meal of the day. So there are hungry children out there.

– Becky Doran, CATERed
Families have been taking advantage of the service Credit: ITV Westcountry

First year we did 1,200 meals, and year-on-year that's grown. Last year we fed 6,500 children, both in parks and libraries. This year we have capacity to do up to 12,000. We know from our school staff, from our head teachers, that children return after the long summer break sometimes less able to learn and less willing to learn because potentially they've had less access to healthy food during the summer.

– Brad Pearce, CATERed managing director

For more information about this year's CATERed tour, click here.

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