‘It’s been really tight’ - Bath families on holiday hunger as free school meals end

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More than 4,000 children living in Bath and North East Somerset are being supported by a community initiative to combat holiday hunger.

Families with children on free school meals often struggle to make ends meet during the summer months while schools are shut.

In parts of Bath, it is estimated one in every five children live in poverty while Twerton and Whiteway rank among the most deprived areas in the UK.

To combat this, community groups like Bath Rugby Foundation, Bath Area Play Project, Youth Connect South West and others have teamed up to support struggling families.

Volunteers are supporting children across Bath and North East Somerset.

Mum Anne Hopp, whose son Daniel takes part in the ‘Breakout’ sessions, said: “There have been some times where it’s been really tight for money and it’s been just the last couple of weeks before you get paid from work.

“It’s just nice to have that foodbank thing just to get you through for a couple of weeks and then at the end of the month you can give it back or support other families around the community.”

It is estimated up to 12,000 sessions will take place this summer, reaching those who would usually receive free school meals.

They will take place across the county in areas such as Keynsham, Larkhall and Midsomer Norton.

Dan Hine, from Bath Rugby Foundation.

Dan Hine, from Bath Rugby Foundation, said scales of deprivation can vary from area to area.

“In some of the schools we work in, up to 54 per cent of our young people are on free school meals and the life expectancy in BANES varies,” he explained.

“If you grow up in Twerton, you’re expected to live 10 years less than if you grew up in Bear Flat which is only two miles away.

The food is prepared and delivered by chef Dan Moon.

He said it is important to not only provide nourishment, but an education too.

“Good food isn’t always hard,” he added. “It’s about doing things really simply and you don’t have to put lots of sugar and salt with stuff. 

“We’ve kept it really simple, clean and these recipe cards can help.”

For more information on the ‘Breakout’ programme, click here.