Financial pressures on families has led to a plea for donations from foodbanks across the region, which housing and communities organisation Livin, has responded to.
An article published locally in the Northern Echo on 26 July headlined ‘families struggling to give children a hot meal a day during school holidays’ prompted Livin to step up and take action.
Durham Christian Partnership who run the Durham food bank reported in the article that there was a higher demand than their current supplies can cope with. This comes at a time when many families would usually rely on free school meals and cannot afford to provide for them every day.
Livin works closely with local communities and has identified areas which are in most need of help. Newton Aycliffe, Ferryhill, Spennymoor and Shildon have become the focus of the efforts with Livin staff collecting and donating over 100 bags of food containing much needed items including rice, tinned vegetables, cooking sauces, tea, coffee and UHT milk.
Through match funding from Livin and partner Mears Group they have tripled their food collection amounting to a total of £1,500 worth of food.
Colin Steel, chief executive at Livin said “the summer holiday is a time where every child should be happy but the reality is more and more families are struggling to provide even one hot meal per day”
“We are delighted with the response from our staff which has meant we can send food parcels to all our local communities in need of help”.
Using the Durham Christian Partnership the food will be distributed over the next week to local food banks.
Stuart Hudson, Distribution Centres Manager at Durham Christian Partnership said “we would like to thank all at Livin for their whopping donation of 1100.70Kg of food. This donation will support 147 people with 3 days of food. This donation is an excellent example of how we can all work in partnership to support our local communities for those that may find themselves in financial difficulty or in a crisis situation”
The support does not stop there. Through its Community Regeneration Fund, Livin is also funding: free school activities and packed lunches in the Western Area of Newton Aycliffe; ‘cooking on a budget’ sessions with families in Trimdon Village; and have financially supported Holiday Clubs at the Ladder Centre Ferrhill and Jubilee Fields Community Centre, Shildon.