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Gloucestershire Business News

Free school meals this summer for eligible local children

Local food charities in Cheltenham are celebrating this week following the announcement that they have secured £4,818 from Gloucestershire County Council, to provide meals for children on free school meals over the summer holidays, as part of its Holiday Hunger Programme.

The charities, led by Family Space working under the #feedcheltenham banner, have been supporting each other through the crisis with some additional help from Cheltenham Borough Council and GCHQ.

The strengths of the relationships developed through the crisis led to the collaborative bid that will see frozen meals being distributed through seven local centres across Cheltenham.

Sarah Avery, manager of Family Space, said: "We know that there are around 3,100 children in Cheltenham that access free school meals during term-time, but in the school holidays there is a risk that these children can go hungry. By making nutritious family-sized meals available from our 11 partners, we can help reduce this risk.

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles at CBC said: "We are really lucky to have such a great group of committed organisations and people with whom to work.

"We are determined that no child will go hungry this holiday and no community will be left behind.

"We are not just looking at the current situation, but how we can together prepare for the future, be more resilient and by working together, make sure our children are not forgotten."

Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member and deputy leader of Gloucestershire County Council: "The Holiday Hunger Programme exists to make sure children don't go hungry over the summer holidays and we would like to thank these local charities for helping us make that a reality.

"More than 15,000 children a day in our county are currently being supported to receive free school meals and we have ensured that since the March 23 families get that support at home. 

"There has been a five per cent increase in families needing support since this time. In addition to the Holiday Hunger Programme, the Government's Covid summer food fund, which has been extended over the summer holidays, will ensure that children do not go without."

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