Thousands of children in Glasgow enjoyed fresh food, nutritious meals and activities during the school holidays thanks to the Children’s Holiday Food programme.

The programme, which was introduced in 2018 to address poverty in the city, specifically children’s holiday hunger, helped serve 290,845 healthy meals and snacks to more than 19,000 youngsters last year.

A report to the council’s Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee showed that during last year’s six-week school summer holiday, 19,196 children aged 0-18 years participated in projects being served in every ward in Glasgow.

The Children’s Holiday Food Programme is funded by Glasgow City Council and delivered by charities, third sector organisations and community groups.

Funding of more than £1.4m was given to 78 organisations already delivering holiday programmes, to upscale and expand their usual activities to include food and spaces for more children to attend and take part during the summer period.

During 2019/20, the Children’s Holiday Food Programme ran during the Spring, Summer and October holidays. Organisations provided a variation of meals and, depending on the project and activities, there was a mixture of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks served. The programme will run again in February.

Feedback shows the programme also has many other benefits for the children and their families as well as the wider community.

It’s part of the council’s on-going work to tackle food poverty and inequality; where people cannot afford or do not have access to nutritious food.

Glasgow’s City Treasurer, Councillor Allan Gow, welcomed the report.

Cllr Gow said: “The Children’s Holiday Food Programme has gone from strength to strength and the number of people benefiting has increased.

“The start of the school holidays is an exciting time for many but it creates additional, unwanted pressure on people experiencing food poverty – which is why our holiday hunger programme is such an excellent initiative.  It provides positive support to families and gives young people in the city a chance to socialise, build confidence and self-esteem, do more physical activity and learn new skills.

“We remain committed to tackling food poverty and look forward to working with third sector organisations to deliver this invaluable programme again this year.”

The report to committee can be viewed here

In 2018/19 the Children’s Holiday Food Programme ran during the Summer, October and February holidays. An evaluation report on the Summer 2018 programme can be viewed here.