Shropshire Star

Feed a Family: Take advantage of holiday clubs, lunch deals and offers to keep kids fed

With the six-week school summer holidays starting some families are wondering how they will cope with the incessant cry of "I'm hungry" from the children.

Telford Crisis Support. From left: Jaden Osborne, Simon Lellow, Maria Hesketh and John Foley

Telford Crisis Support is urging people to look at all the offers that are on hand to help parents - from holiday clubs that give lunches to those taking part to free meals or meals for £1 for children that supermarkets are advertising.

And, while families in receipt of benefits in the Telford and Wrekin area are being given holiday food vouchers, it says there will be many who don't fall into that sector, but still need a helping hand.

Simon Lellow, operations manager at Telford Crisis Support, said because of the availability of holiday food vouchers it was not expecting a big increase in requests for help over the six weeks.

"Our numbers stay pretty steady in the summer," he said.

"However during school holidays we do put a bit more in the food parcels going out to families. With the kids at home there will be times when they are asking for snacks.

"And while some costs drop, such as heating and lighting many food costs are still rising. In fact the cost of the cheapest formula milk has risen by 45 per cent," he said.

However Simon said there were lots of great things happening to make life easier for families.

"Many community centres are running the Happy, Healthy and Active Holiday Clubs that provide lunches and many supermarkets have special, eat free or eat for £1 deals for children.

"Lots of people find it difficult because their children can't take part in things other children can. This just try to redress the balance."

Simon urged families who did not get holiday food vouchers to look at the Telford Crisis Centre website to see what help they could access.

"It is important to remember that lots of our help is not directly means-tested and we have a question and answer section giving guidance on how they can access help.

"We also have a school uniform project that has no restrictions on it. We would urge people to make use of this when looking for school uniform and also to donate uniform their children have outgrown."

Karen Williams from the Shrewsbury Food Bank Plus urged its supporters to continue donating items throughout the holiday.

"Our website is updated with what food we are asking for, whether people donate through supermarkets, donate money or take part in our Tin Tuesday street collections."