School holidays for some families can be a tiring and expensive juggling act. Without free school meals or teacher support, hunger and social isolation can be a depressing reality.
Teachers report malnourished pupils returning to school after the holidays having fallen behind compared to their peers. Many young people will never claw back this learning and health disadvantage to fulfill their potential.
Since 2018 through support from the Mayor’s Fund for London schools help is at hand during the summer holidays with our Munch Bunch Club for children under 11 in Waltham Forest.
The aim is to provide a safe place to go during the summer school holidays where children can socialise, make new friends and get a healthy free meal.
In 2019 primary schools which are part of the scheme include:
Handsworth in Highams Park; George Tomlinson in Leytonstone; Edinburgh, Greenleaf and Chapel End all in Walthamstow.
The project is about so much more than just food as it covers general mental and physical well-being with the additional benefit of learning about healthy eating.
A young person on the programme said,
“I learned how to be creative with food and tried so many new dishes, like bean curry, which I would never have had before”.
A parent told us:
'This is a fantastic it eased the pressure for me as I can dread the school holidays with not having much money'.