The Leader of Nottingham City Council has thanked local businesses, charities, faith groups and volunteers who helped provide free lunches for vulnerable children this summer.
A number of community initiatives took place in Nottingham over the school summer holidays in a bid to tackle holiday hunger, activity and isolation among children.
This included a scheme that distributed 5,200 packed lunches at Council-run events across the city.
Volunteers based at Clifton Young People’s Centre in Green Lane, Clifton, packed the lunches before teams transported them around Nottingham to free summer holiday activity days and children’s centres.
The scheme was co-ordinated by four people retired from the City Council’s children’s services department, together with up to eight local volunteers each day. City councillors joined them at various points over the summer. The lunches included sandwiches, fruit, crisps, snacks and drinks.
Nottingham Citizens Forum and Lenton Baptist Church provided further support, while the local business community and voluntary sector rallied around and donated:
-30 fresh loaves of bread a day from Iceland
-500 refillable water bottles from Boots
-200 refillable water bottles from Nottingham Forest
-£250 towards supplies from staff at Sytner Volkswagen Contact Centre
-Sandwich fillings and fruit through the FareShare charity that works with supermarkets to prevent food waste going to landfill
-Snacks from staff at Nottingham City Council’s Loxley House headquarters
-Nottingham Catering supported with staff time as well as water, fruit and snacks
-Wilford Co-op collected donations from customers
Hundreds of thousands of youngsters are affected by holiday hunger across the country. While many children from low-income families are entitled to free school meals during term-time, there is currently no such provision during holidays.
Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you everyone who worked so hard this summer to provide free food and activities to children in the City.
“It’s also really important to recognise the contribution of numerous organisations, faith groups, community groups and charities who have kindly donated money, food and supplies – as well as our own staff at the City Council who have given to the scheme.
“It’s been great to see so many youngsters attending Council-run events over the past weeks, running around and working up an appetite before tucking into a healthy lunches.”