19 July 2018

Bolton Lads and Girls Club - UKFast partners for Holiday Hunger campaign

Some of the activities at Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

The summer holidays are a time for making memories, for making the most of every moment with your family.

In reality, for the one in three children in Greater Manchester who are living in poverty, the summer holidays are a challenging time. For many parents, finding the extra £30-40 per child per week to make up for not having free school meals is impossible. The money just doesn’t stretch that far. Because of that, children can lose up to half a stone in weight. That’s just over the summer simply because there isn’t enough food.

It’s heartbreaking to know that parents are unable to feed their children because of such desperate circumstances. Hearing these stats, I knew we had to help. Everyone has times of difficulty in their lives and it is up to the rest of us to step up and help them through.

That’s why, as part of our commitment to the community at UKFast, we’re providing 18,000 meals to school children and families across Greater Manchester. Bolton Lads and Girls Club, One Manchester Housing Association and Manchester Youth Zone are all delivering these meals. Groups like these are an essential cog in our community. They provide a space for young people; somewhere for them to be active, to keep learning and developing, and to get a hot meal.

The end of Holiday Hunger

Sadly, so many community groups are underfunded and under resourced, despite the priceless work they do with the next generation. Inversely, the business arena has a huge amount of resource so it’s only right that we share that with those who need it the most. We can all do our bit to help.

Speaking with one of our friends at Hits Radio, we realised we’re aligned with tackling the issue of Holiday Hunger. The station is now pushing a huge drive to fill the foodbanks in Manchester. These help these parents get the food that they and their children need.

As part of this, we have a space in our reception at UKFast Campus for food donations. We’ll then take over to a local foodbank. These are non-perishable items like tinned vegetables and meat, lentils, beans, pulses, and cereal, so if you can afford to donate some of these items, please bring them along to UKFast and you’ll get a warm welcome.

Earlier this year it was reported that demand at foodbanks in Salford alone grew by almost a third in just one year. Heywood Food Bank ran empty in May, and across the UK demand for foodbanks is growing year on year.

Ultimately, wherever you are in the country, whether you’re aware of it or not, someone right on your doorstep could be struggling. The ever-increasing cost of childcare and the extra cost of food is a huge weight for parents at a time when they should be making special memories with their little ones.

If you’re able to, donate what you can, a couple of tins or a box of cereal, either to our reception if you’re in Manchester or to a local foodbank. We can make a huge difference to these families with a just small gesture.

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