A city-wide project to ensure children do not go hungry has been hailed a great success.
Families across the district have benefited from the Healthy Holidays Programme during October half-term. The scheme run by Leeds Community Foundation in partnership with Leeds City Council and other organisations provides children and families with access to meals and activities during the holidays. In addition to this, restaurants, cafés and takeaways across Leeds have stepped up to provide food for children offering a wide selection of nourishing meals.
It has proved so successful that organisers are planning to look at how they can make it a year round programme. The programme was given a major financial boost when Leeds United players and the board pledged £50,000 – fans also raised money for foodbanks in parts of the city. Dozens of businesses across the city then also dug deep to pledge their support and supply food parcels throughout the week.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said:
“Thank you to all of the amazing businesses, schools, third sector organisations and community hubs who have provided food and activities through the half term week. This has ensured that children are safe from harm, physically active and have had an exciting, fulfilling week.
“Food poverty and insecurity can impact both the physical and mental health of young people, and we are thankful to those who have made half term a week of hope, rather than a week of hunger. We look forward to working together, as a city, to ensure no child goes hungry over future school holidays.”
Leeds Community Foundation distributes grants and provides support to community organisations across the city, tackling inequalities and working together to create opportunities for those that need help the most.
The Leeds Community Foundation Healthy Holidays Fund supports vulnerable schoolchildren and their families by distributing grants to local projects addressing holiday hunger through nutritious meals alongside sport, creative and social activities. We work with a wide range of partners across Leeds to deliver healthy holiday programmes that tackle hunger, isolation and inactivity.
A special fund has been set up for anyone wanting to support the future activities of the Healthy Holidays Programme. You can donate at www.virginmoneygiving.com
A list of businesses who have supported children over the half term can be found here: www.leeds.gov.uk