Foodservice wholesaler, Bidfood has revealed the details of its nation-wide ‘Action Against Holiday Hunger' campaign running across nine Bidfood depots this summer engaging with local communities and supporting holiday provision projects.
During the six-week school break, five of the Bidfood depots involved supported individual local holiday provision projects around the country, including its Chepstow depot who worked with Swansea East MP, Carolyn Harris, to support the Swansea Kid's Lunch Club, feeding over 6,000 children across the summer.
Harris said: "Quite simply, a lot of families rely on free school meals during term time, and are unable to afford the extra food needed for the six week break; this is why I set up the Swansea Kid's Lunch Club, to help support these families in need.
"This year will be the third summer of running the lunch club, having fed over 6,000 children in each year. To help run this scheme, we have had to rely on the kind donations from suppliers, and Bidfood has been one of our biggest and most proactive supporters.
"In the current climate of austerity, I envisage that the holiday lunch clubs will continue for the foreseeable future and I am confident that Bidfood will continue to be one of our key providers."
Four of the nine Bidfood depots that took part, including Wakefield, Nottingham, Stowmarket and Worthing, collaborated with FareShare, the UK's largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, and one of Bidfood's UK partners, to support over 110 projects across the UK. Bidfood development chefs volunteered their time at FareShare beneficiaries, to cook nutritious meals from the surplus stock donated, as well as providing helpful advice for families on how to cook on a budget and make food go further.
Samantha Lai, commercial officer at FareShare, said: "We don't believe it's right that any child should go hungry, but that was the shocking reality for up to three million children in the UK this summer."
Bidfood also supported Hertfordshire Catering's Fit Fed and Read scheme, as well as Southampton City Catering's #LunchCrowd initiative, by providing funding, cooking and recipe development from Bidfood's development chef, Wayne Wright. Along with this, Bidfood's group sales and marketing director, Andrew Kemp, supported CaterEd's holiday provision initiative, in partnership with Lympstone Manor's executive chef, Michael Caines.
Kemp added: "Myself and Michael had the pleasure of preparing food in the premises of CaterED as part of our holiday hunger initiative. As the children began to arrive, I couldn't believe how many were there, waiting patiently to be fed. This is holiday hunger, and this is happening everywhere across the UK. For my part, and I know for Michael, this is such an important subject and we are merely scratching the surface when looking at the millions of children who go hungry every day during the school holidays."