Food banks see spike in demand in South Tyneside during school holidays

Food banks in the borough see an increase in demand during the summer holidays due to no free school meals.

While the summer holidays should be a time for fun and making memories, for many parents there’s the added stress of feeding their children while struggling to make ends meet.

With schools closed for six weeks, many children across South Tyneside are missing out on their usual free school meal, which causes extra financial burden to families already in financial difficulties.

No free school meals means parents need to find extra money to feed children an additional meal a day as which is impossible for many meaning they are relying on food banks to help them out.

Items for food bank

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During this time South Tyneside food banks are seeing an increase of people using their services, therefore require more donations so there are enough food parcels to give out.

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Rachel Edwardson, Marketing and Communications Officer at Key Project which distributes food parcels across South Tyneside said: “Many of the families we support face severe hardships over the school holidays, a time of increased financial pressure, with the additional costs of finding fun things to do that don’t cost the earth and paying for all that extra food or childcare.

“To lighten the load for struggling families, we’re joining forces with South Tyneside Council to deliver the HAF programme’s Summer Holiday Club, funded by the Department for Education.

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“We’re providing free activities and nutritious meals for eligible children and young people from our base at Boldon Lane Library - where parents/carers will also be able to access a range of practical help and support with debt management, food budgeting, fuel costs, mobile data, school uniform and more - plus with partners The New Sundial down at the seafront. Full details available on our website (keyproject.org.uk) - booking is essential.”

Food banks across South Tyneside welcome donations so they can make up food parcel for vulnerable individuals and families.

Here are just some of the items you can donate:

*Pasta

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*Rice

*Juice

*Tinned food

*Cereal

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*Instant meals

*Biscuits

*Toiletries

*Nappies

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A list of food banks in South Tyneside you can donate to can be found at https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/35030/Food-banks