Summer campaign helps children enjoy free meals

Summer campaign helps children enjoy free meals

A number of UK charities and food clubs fighting hunger and food waste partnered with food service provider Bidfood to provide meals for those in need throughout the summer holidays.

The project was part of Bidfood’s ‘Action Against Holiday Hunger’ campaign. Throughout the six-week break, the campaign helped support hundreds of projects across the UK.

The campaign teamed up with local charities and partners and ran across eleven Bidfood sites, including Gateshead, Swansea, London, Reading, Nottingham, Yorkshire and Sussex. In London, food waste partner City Harvest helped provide food to children in the area. In Slough, the Good Grub at Langley College fed more than 70 children and their parents every Wednesday for the duration of the six-week summer holiday, while in Reading, supplies were donated to the Whitley CDA summer projects to help feed more than 50 people each day.

In Gateshead, Bidfood helped The Aukland Project provide more than 6,100 meals to children in the north east of England, while in Swansea, the project partnered with the Swansea Kid’s Lunch Club, to help support more than 6,000 children during the summer holidays. The Swansea Kid’s Lunch Club was set up by Carolyn Harris, Swansea East MP and has been running for three years.

“Quite simply, a lot of families rely on free school meals during term time and are unable to afford the extra food needed for the six-week break,” says Carolyn Harris Swansea East MP. “This is why I set up the Swansea Kid’s Lunch Club, to help support these families in need.”

“This year will be the third summer of running the lunch club, having fed over 6,000 children in each year,” continues Harris. “To help run this scheme, we have had to rely on the kind donations from a number of suppliers, and Bidfood has been one of our biggest and most proactive supporters. In the current climate of austerity, I envisage that the holiday lunch clubs will continue for the foreseeable future and I am confident that Bidfood will continue to be one of our key providers.”

Bidfood’s Stowmarket, Nottingham, Yorkshire and Sussex depot partnered with local FareShare centres to help support more than 110 projects across the UK. Matthew Tracey and Damon Corey, development chefs at Bidfood, volunteered their time at projects of FareShare’s beneficiaries

“We don’t believe it’s right that any child should go hungry, but that is the shocking reality for up to three million children in the UK this summer,” says Samantha Lai, commercial officer at FareShare. “By distributing healthy and nutritious surplus food donated by Bidfood we’re able to get greater quantities of food to the hundreds of amazing projects which are bridging the gap in provision over the summer holidays. Having Bidfood’s chefs offer their expertise and time to help cook at some of our projects, has really helped maximise the potential of the food they receive!”

Hertfordshire Catering Ltd Fit Fed and Read scheme, as well as Southampton City Catering’s #LunchCrowd initiative, were also supported during the campaign.

Wayne Wright, development chef at Bidfood, helped with cooking and recipe development, while Dr Andrew Kemp MBE, group sales and marketing director at Bidfood, helped with CaterEd’s holiday provision initiative, in partnership with executive chef, Michael Caines.

“Myself and celebrated chef Michael Caines, had the pleasure of preparing food in the premises of CaterED as part of our holiday hunger initiative,” says Dr Andrew Kemp MBE, group sales and marketing director at Bidfood.

“As the children began to arrive, I couldn’t believe how many were there, waiting patiently to be fed,” adds Kemp. “This is holiday hunger, and this is happening everywhere across the UK. For my part, and I know for Michael Caines, this is such an important subject and we are merely scratching the surface when looking at the millions of children who go hungry every day during the school holidays.”