More families are relying on food banks during the summer holidays as children have not been receiving their free school meals, a food bank co-ordinator has said.
As the six-week children’s break comes close to an end, volunteers at food banks across the county are finding their facilities subject to an increased demand from families.
Andrew Fellows, who helps run food banks in Clay Cross, said his banks are expecting to be busy over the next few weeks as parents are struggling to feed their children, who have been without their free school meals since the holidays began.
He added: “We have seen a levelling off in demand up to now, but we normally expect this week in August to be the busiest in the year.
“This is usually down to free school meals.”
Andrew said many families turn to the food bank at this stage of the school holidays as many live hand to mouth, and without free school meals they start to struggle feeding the kids.
He added: “The chance is a free school meal is the only hot meal some kids will get in a day.”
“We will probably be busy now for a couple of weeks, until the start of the new school year.”
Yvonne Birchmoore, the co-ordinator of a food bank in Loundsley Green, said that while they have a lot of single people using their facility, they do see an increase in families over the holidays.
She added: “Most of the families are referred from children’s centres in the area, where the need arises.
“We have had an increase of families with four to five children who are trying to feed the kids on a fixed budget over the holidays.”
Anybody who needs help and support from a food bank in Derbyshire should visit www.advicederbyshire.org/foodbanks.asp for a list of those avaliable.