‘We cannot stand by’ - Charity aims to fight holiday hunger with free ingredient kits
- Credit: Archant
A regional charity is aiming to fight holiday hunger this winter by sending out free ingredient kits to families in need in Great Yarmouth.
Figures published by Norfolk Insight, a data service run by the county council, show that some of the town’s wards - with Nelson at 32pc, Central and Northgate at 25pc and Southtown and Cobholm at 23pc - have either above or nearly double the national average of 15.5pc of children living far below the poverty line.
The numbers - described by charity Access Community Trust as “upsetting” - have led the organisation to launch its PINK Orange service in the town’s NR30 and NR31 postcode areas.
Families that normally receive free school meals in term time get healthy ingredient kits sent to their homes to help during school holidays.
The charity, which operates the community cafe at the Venetian Waterways, is currently piloting the project at North Denes Primary School, where about 140 children are eligible for free school meals.
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Angela Juler, the school’s assistant head, said: “It’s quite difficult for people to get over the stigma of asking for help, so this project is amazing for our families.
“We’ve sent the message to the children already eligible for the free school meals and they can register for the ingredients kits during the upcoming half-term.”
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The main aim is to get the scheme embedded for Christmas.
Ms Juler said: “Furlough is finishing at the end of October and then Christmas is coming up. It can be quite a stressful time for families.”
Each kit contains the exact quantities of fresh and ambient items required to prepare two weekly meals for each household.
The bags also include recipe cards and links to a range of additional supportive resources made specifically for young people.
Emma Ratzer, chief executive of Access Community Trust, said: “Great Yarmouth sits just outside of PINK Orange’s heartland of Suffolk. However, we cannot stand by and watch over 3000 young people and their families in a neighbouring community struggle to put food on the table this winter.
“Thanks to support from Norfolk Community Foundation, we have a real window of opportunity to fight back against holiday hunger, reverse the stigma attached to it and support a generation that is sadly consistently over looked.”
Registrations are already open for this winter’s service, which will commence in December.
To find out more visit the charity’s Facebook page here.