How York is tackling holiday hunger, and the long-term answer

“People come for the food but they get so much more”

The school holidays should be a time of fun and enjoyment for children.

Instead, many families dread them, struggling to stay afloat as additional costs mount.

Across the country, communities are doing amazing work to support families who are swept further into poverty.

This summer, The York Food Poverty Alliance and local community organisations got together to ensure free food and activities were available every day, and BBC Radio York recently heard from some of those organising and attending the various sessions.

The clips below, from the station’s Jonathan Cowap Show, are shared here with the kind permission of BBC Radio York.

  1. Stories from the community lunch at Bell Farm Social Hall in north east York 
  2. Pay-as-you-feel lunch cafe at The Red Tower
  3. The full show, including clips 1 & 2 and expert insight from Maddie Power of the York Food Poverty Alliance.

Here are a few comments from some of the people Jonathan spoke to:

“Things like this, with food involved, it brings people together and it’s just really nice to see everyone here – and the food is just gorgeous.”

“My disabled benefit has been completely stopped and it makes me less mobile and it’s more difficult for me to look after my kids, and sometimes makes it really hard. Places like this are an oasis for people like us.”

“What’s really important is just knowing that people care, and there are nice people in the world who are prepared to be there for people. It’s just really important and lovely.”

The bigger picture

You can see a full list of the York projects that have been active this summer here.

There are many other community organisations working to meet the need in their area, doing fantastic work. At the same time, we keep working to tackle the causes of food poverty during the holidays, so such community activism becomes unnecessary.

One of the priorities of the End Hunger UK campaign is to safeguard children’s nutrition on every day of the year. Campaigners and MPs have been trying for more than a century to ensure children and families are supported during the holidays as well as during term time. A Governmental commitment to this would go a long way to creating the just, compassionate society we all want, and would help to ensure that nobody in the UK had to go to bed hungry.

You can help achieve this vision by getting involved in the End Hunger UK campaign.

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