Families received half-term boost as Community Shop helps tackle holiday hunger

18 November 2020
Families received half-term boost as Community Shop helps tackle holiday hunger

Hundreds of families were provided with access to food and support over the October half-term period, as social supermarket Community Shop rolled out its Healthy Holidays programme in a bid to tackle holiday hunger.

The programme provided children and their families with access to free and nutritious meals through family hampers, ingredients boxes and live cooking sessions, which encouraged families to come together to learn new recipes and improve access to nutritious diets. All the food provided was donated or supplied by industry partners, including Nestle, Ocado and Everton in the Community, amongst others.

As part of the programme’s promotion of exercise and health and wellbeing, the scheme included guest appearances from Great Britain’s double gold Olympic champion, Daley Thompson, and Everton footballer, Anthony Gordon, who set interactive sporting challenges for children and their families.

This was just one of the ways the programme sought to get participants more active, with sessions running throughout the week involving everything from live exercise classes, daily physical activity challenges, yoga and mindfulness. There were also classes which promoted mental health awareness and the positive health impact of getting good sleep.

As we were unable to celebrate Halloween in the usual fashion this year, the programme also gave children a chance to honour the day, with pumpkin carving and pumpkin cooking classes, as well as a spooky-themed yoga session.
The scheme provided a helping hand to families in the community who needed it most, and came at a critical time, as data recently released by the Food Foundation showed that 6.3% of children were worried about going hungry during October half-term.

It also built on the success of Community Shop’s summer Healthy Holidays programme, which received widespread praise from Public Health England and local authority partners for its positive impact. To aid the programme, Community Shop worked with other local organisations including Centre4 in Grimsby, who similarly have a wealth of experience in delivering meaningful impact and social change to local communities.

Ahead of the Christmas holidays, Community Shop is calling on food businesses to do “their bit” to help fight holiday hunger by donating surplus stock which will help bolster Community Shop’s impact in the local community. They are encouraged to get in contact with the Community Shop team by calling 0800 211 84 84.

Head of Community Shop, Natalie Brown said: “We’re really pleased with the success of our Healthy Holidays programme, which provided a real lifeline to many families across the communities we serve. We are committed to tackling food insecurity and this programme will have a lasting impact for participating families, helping them to access affordable, nutritious food and inspiring them to embed healthy eating and lifestyle patterns into their daily routines. 
 “Our work at Community Shop is all about delivering positive social impact and helping to create lasting change so it’s great to know that we are making a real difference. We are also pleased to have been able to collaborate with so many of our fantastic partner organisations to deliver this meaningful impact to children across the country. We would encourage any food businesses looking to do something positive with their surplus stock to get in touch.”