On Thursday 24th October, 2019, we launched the Holiday Provision Steering Group for Southampton.
Southampton and the local area currently has a number of organisations, individuals and initiatives geared towards tackling the issue of food poverty - with a particular focus on those families and children who go hungry during the school holidays. It's an issue that's widely been referred to as 'holiday hunger' in the media.
The Holiday Provision Steering Group, funded through a VIVID grant administered by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, aims to support the local community through partnership.
Rachel Hall, CEO at City Catering Southampton introduced the group by saying:
“Recent figures show there are more than 20,000 children across Hampshire currently living in poverty, by bringing the people in this room together, we have every opportunity to create a real powerhouse to help eradicate this issue, not only in our region, but on a national level too.
“The work that we do as a not-for-profit school-meals provider, makes this an issue close to our hearts and sits at the centre of our ongoing charitable aims.”
The aims of the Steering Group are threefold:
partnering to improve the food opportunities on offer to families during the 13 weeks of school holidays across the year;
increase local knowledge of what's available, through joined-up signposting;
joining forces to increase our influence on 'holiday hunger' as a local and national issue
We very much want to engage a diverse range of voices from across the City. The Steering Group will meet once per quarter with membership open to anyone with an invested interest in holiday food provision in Southampton and Hampshire, including food banks, housing associations, health professionals, schools, businesses, community groups, councillors and club providers too.
If you want to join the Southampton Holiday Provision Steering group and help reduce hunger in the holidays for families and children across the region please email Jessica Clasby-Monk, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can follow the progress of the Holiday Provision Steering Group and relevant news on Twitter @HPSGSouthampton.