Northamptonshire shoppers asked to help feed hungry schoolchildren this summer

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Northamptonshire shoppers will be able to help children in the county, who would otherwise go hungry over the summer holidays, with a new food bank scheme.

Central England Co-op is joining forces with food bank partners to tackle the issue of holiday hunger for children who go without meals when out of school.

The Summer Food Bank Appeal will run for three months from June to August and customers are being asked to drop off one or more items – ranging from food to toiletries – to help youngsters in need across the area.

After successful campaigns at Christmas and Easter collected over 85,000 items for food banks, Central England Co-op asked charities what was the biggest issued they faced during the summer months.

Over 85 per cent of food banks working with the Co-op reported a rise in demand from families who see the safety net of free school meals removed during the summer holidays.

This often leaves families trying to stretch their budgets in order to eat and in some cases going without proper food during the holidays.

In Northamptonshire, figures from End Child Poverty revealed that 13,163 children were at risk of falling into holiday hunger during 2018.

The items will then be used to create either bigger food parcels for families with children or to provide special packed lunches for summertime projects.

Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be able to support our food banks all year round.

“This summer we are appealing to our customers and members to support our campaign and help youngsters in need and their families so they don’t have to go without during the holidays.

“All we are asking is that people drop off one or more items into our food banks.”

For more details go to www.centralengland.coop/summer