Hosting firm UKFast today announces its commitment to provide 18,000 meals to school children living in poverty in Greater Manchester over the summer holiday period.
Recent statistics show that 32% of children in Greater Manchester are living in poverty, many of whom go without proper nutrition outside of the school calendar.
Russell Feingold, UKFast’s Director of CSR, said: “More than 76,000 children across Greater Manchester receive free school meals during term time. That’s a huge number of extra meals for parents to find during the summer holidays, along with the spiralling overheads of childcare. For many families, their income doesn’t stretch that far.
“Summer clubs are essential in bridging both the childcare gap and holiday hunger, which is why UKFast is supporting three projects across the region, delivering 18,000 meals throughout the summer.”
UKFast is supporting Holiday Hunger projects at initiatives across Greater Manchester, including Bolton Lads’ and Girls’ Club, One Manchester Housing Association and Manchester Youth Zone (formerly Factory Youth Zone). The firm’s support means more meals for more children in these areas over the summer period.
Karen Edwards OBE, CEO of Bolton Lads’ and Girls’ Club, said: “We are thrilled to be able to expand our holiday provision and be able to offer breakfast, lunch and an evening meal for our members. School holidays are a critical time; fun, safe activities and regular meals are essential for healthy kids.”
UKFast recently announced its backing for a breakfast club at Holy Name RC Primary School in Moss Side to bridge the breakfast gap at the school.
Gail Jones, UKFast MD, said: “The summer holidays should be a time of fun and making memories for families, instead the increased childcare costs add a huge weight to parents’ shoulders and is leaving many unable to make ends meet. Hearing that the loss of free school meals over the holidays can lead to a child losing half a stone in weight is simply unbearable.
“As a parent it’s heartbreaking to hear of parents unable to feed their children because of desperate circumstances.
“Through our work with schools and young people, it became clear that this issue goes beyond a breakfast gap as we head into the summer break. We had to step in to help ensure these children get the nutrition they need and to ease the pressure on their parents.”
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones added: “Businesses have a huge amount of resources available at their fingertips. It’s up to us to use them to support the community we live and work in. You can expect to see more of this type of activity as we continue to grow.”
The team at UKFast hope that its Holiday Hunger Project inspires other business to identify the areas of most need within local communities and step in to help.