Food glorious food – not for all children. pexels.
The school holidays, the best times of your life, right? Maybe not if you’re one of many families struggling to cope with the extra costs of food, activities and childcare. In fact for many families, rather than a summer spent frolicking in the sun, sea and sand, the school holidays are faced with dread.
A lot of this is down to the fact that for around 39 weeks of the year, 14% of children from low income families across England have access to healthy, free school lunches. Some children also have breakfast at school, which has led to the rise of breakfast clubs. But of course for many families, this can stop during the holidays when school food isn’t available.
A recent report from a group of MPs shows that the school holidays are a challenging time for parents – with many families struggling to make ends meet.
This is a time when, for some families, food supplies are compromised – with parents skipping meals to feed their children. Families also often rely on cheap, convenience foods – that are seen as more filling for less money – than healthier options.
To help support families during the school holidays, many organisations have introduced holiday clubs. These clubs take place in school and community settings – such as church halls and community centres – to offer meals and activities to families during the school holidays. And our Healthy Living research team have been investigating how these types of holiday clubs make a difference to children and families.