17 Jan 2019

With at least one in six children is at risk of an inadequate diet in school holidays, this seminar will explore best practice in holiday provision and start to develop lasting solutions.

holiday hunger og

7th February 2019

Registration 9.00 - 9.30. Seminar 9.30 - 13.00

Canolfan Soar, Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8UB

With child poverty forecast to rise, increasing food costs and benefits frozen at 2015 levels, there is every sign of holiday hunger increasing.  Given this, it is timely to consider how best holiday hunger can be alleviated in the short-term, and prevented in the longer-term. 

This important event features keynote contributions by leading UK food campaigner, Lindsey Graham, as well as examples of community provision. Delegates will be able to discuss the causes of holiday hunger, understand what 'good' provision looks like, and suggest practical solutions that will end holiday hunger for good.

This event is a great opportunity for anyone interested in solving the specific problem of holiday hunger, ending with wider problem of food insecurity and reducing poverty across Wales. It is free thanks to the kind support of Merthyr Valley Homes, South Wales Food Poverty Alliance and 200 people who gave £10 to help find practical solutions. 

Background

At least one in six children is at risk of having an inadequate diet in school holidays.  Families face increased costs e.g. having to provide extra meals to replace free school breakfasts and dinners, and the costs of additional heating or children's activities.  At the same time, some families live with a reduced income in the holidays e.g. because they adjust their working hours to look after children or because of delays receiving benefits. 

Not having a good diet over the holidays affects children's health and wellbeing, with some returning to school after a long break in poorer physical and emotional condition than before. Holiday hunger can have a lasting effect on their learning.

A number of different responses are emerging to address holiday hunger. The largest is the Welsh Government / WLGA School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) which provides 12 days of 'food and fun' in the summer holidays, across 56 schemes in 16 local authorities for more than 2,500 children.  The new First Minister has pledged to extend the School Holiday Fun and Food programme, so that it becomes a permanent scheme that reaches more children across Wales. 

Local initiatives by community and faith groups, such as community cafes, discounted food supplies, food and fitness schemes, provision of packed lunches or emergency food parcels are also increasingly important and help to reach children where there is no SHEP provision or where they may not want to participate. 

Please book your place via  https://www.bevanfoundation.org/events/seminar-solutions-to-holiday-hunger/