£30,000 pledged to help feed South Tyneside schoolchildren in the summer break

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck,
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck,

South Shields’ MP has welcomed a £30,000 government windfall she has helped secure to help feed children during the school holidays.

But Emma Lewell-Buck still slammed Ministers for policies around poverty which she claims are failing to tackle child hunger.

The Labour MP was instrumental in bidding for the cash – the maximum allowed under the government’s national Feeding Britain programme.

Around 2,700 youngsters living in low income families in South Tyneside will get access to a meal as part of a holiday clubs initiative.

Most are in her South Shields constituency, but some in Hebburn will also benefit from programmes being delivered by six borough support groups.

While welcoming the Department for Education funding, she said: “This will feed and give activities to a lot of children and ease the burden on families.

“During term times children get meals but during the holidays there is nothing – three million families in this country are going hungry.

She added: “It is excellent that the community has come together to support this, but I’m angry that you have to bid for this type of money.

“I’ve never before known in-work poverty like we have now, people in work are having to go to foodbanks.”

South Shields is one of eight areas within Feeding Britain’s network included in the 2018 Summer Holiday Provision programme.

It aims to make holiday food and fun available to children and families.

In South Tyneside, clubs are being delivered by a coalition of charities and community organisations working to provide access to good food for all.

They are South Tyneside Churches, Key Project, Hebburn Helps, NECA Green Hope Oasis Garden, EMTRAS & Salvation Army, Action Station, and St John the Baptist Church.

The activities, being run in schools, community centres, church halls and youth groups, aim improve physical activity levels, educational progress and social skills.

Jo Benham Brown, of South Tyneside Churches, Key Project said “Over the years lots of our churches, charities and voluntary groups have provided holiday provision during the summer half term. “We are delighted to have received funding so that we can continue the good work and feed into research that will hopefully shape the future delivery of holiday clubs.

“The clubs are free to attend, and we’d welcome parents to contact the various participants directly for details.”