More than 50,000 Suffolk children are living in poverty - this is how you can help
PUBLISHED: 11:28 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:28 15 July 2019
An Ipswich charity is urging food suppliers and producers across the region to help fight child hunger.
Fareshare East Anglia will be tackling the problem this summer by redistributing healthy meals and snacks to holiday schemes across Suffolk.
In order to meet the specific needs of these vital schemes the charity, based in Ipswich, is calling for donations of fruit, child friendly snacks, wraps and low sugar juice as well as cereal bars, sandwiches, yogurt and spreads.
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According to End Child Poverty, more than 50,000 children in Suffolk are growing up in poverty - many of which are eligible for free school meals.
However, with this safety net removed for six weeks over the summer holiday, families face increased financial pressure which in turn drives them further into food insecurity.
The charity says by providing healthy nutritious snacks and meals it helps to ensure that every child can access a healthy, varied diet, as well as enjoying plenty of fun activities like sport and drama.
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Mike Barrett Development Manager at FareShare East Anglia explained why the initiative was vital for so many children.
He said: "School holidays should be fun and full of new experiences, but the reality is it can be a really tough time for low income and vulnerable families - many of which rely on free school meals during term time.
"With this safety net removed for six weeks, families face a period of increased struggle with children at risk of hunger, isolation and inactivity.
"Our ActiveAte summer campaign will support the work of frontline holiday schemes across Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire which work with children and young people, by providing regular deliveries of quality surplus food ready to be made into nutritious meals."
FareShare is the UK's biggest surplus food redistribution charity, diverting over 20,000 tonnes of surplus food to almost 11,000 frontline charities across the UK, including homeless hostels, women's refuges, community centres and school breakfast clubs.
Members of the public can also support the charity during period of additional need by donating to the campaign online.
To donate to and find out more about FareShare's ActiveAte campaign, click HERE