Day out trail aims to fight holiday hunger and bring families together

A summer campaign is helping to keep families fed and give them the chance to enjoy a free day out.

The Picnic Trail project is being led by Feeding Britain, which was set up through the office of South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck and brings together more than 20 organisations across South Tyneside, creating a network to help people fight hunger and poverty.

After a bid to the Department for Education was turned down, and while facing coronavirus restrictions, the team has raise cash via crowdfunding to set up a picnic trail.

A family in need can collect a picnic or food to take out with them for the day from the Key 2 Life Foodbank in South Shields, helping them exercise and have fun around their lunch.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck and Jo Benham-Brown from Key Project in the Key 2 Life Food Bank. Picture by FRANK REID.

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Churches Together South Tyneside is supporting the project, while South Tyneside Council has backed it by printing up information leaflets so people can follow the various routes.

Meanwhile, the organisation is looking at a more sustainable solution to help people deal with the insecurity of not knowing how their next food shop will be covered.

The Labour MP, who is a trustee of Feeding Britain, said: “For a number of years now I have secured funding for holiday hunger programmes, working closely with Key 2 Life and our local partner organisations who have delivered our 'Fun, Food & Friendship' programmes to children in our area.

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"Covid-19 has exacerbated the hardship faced by some and plunged many more people into poverty.

"The demand this summer for these programmes is high but, due to the virus, we cant deliver them in the same way.

"We have designed the Picnic Trail project so our families can stay safe, have fun exploring and get lots of fresh air by taking their picnics out and about to some of the beautiful places we have here on our doorstep.

"I am proud to have been able to bring the funding to South Shields as a Trustee of Feeding Britain.

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"Thank you to Key 2 Life and our wonderful partners for delivering this new project and to South Tyneside Council for supporting us with project leaflets.”

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