Hampshire Holiday Provision Steering Group set to tackle children at risk of hunger in the holidays

City Catering Southampton, is calling for individuals and businesses to join its network to combat the growing issue of families, and in particular children, going hungry during the school holidays. The Southampton Holiday Provisions Steering Group is being launched by City Catering to bring together interested stakeholders and service users to share best practice and facilitate vital signposting in a bid to ease holiday hunger.

The Steering Group, which has been funded by VIVID homes and administered by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, will meet once per quarter starting in Autumn 2019.

Rachel Hall, CEO at City Catering Southampton said: “In this day and age the issue of children in the UK going hungry is an emotional one. Recent figures show there are more than 20,000 children across Hampshire currently living in poverty, and whilst there are organisations out there working tremendously hard to help, we know that if these businesses, charities, organisations and individuals can unite, we can create a real powerhouse to help eradicate this issue, not only in our region, but on a national level too.

“As a not-for-profit school meals provider, this is an issue close to our ethos and sits at the centre of our ongoing charitable investments.”

Membership is open to anyone with an invested interest in holiday food provision in Southampton and Hampshire, including food banks, housing associations, health professionals, community groups, councillors and club providers.

Rachel added: “We are aiming to ensure that there is a network across the region dedicated to improving the offering to families, increasing the knowledge of what is available, ensuring appropriate signposting, and creating a united influence on this issue.”

The Southampton Holiday Provisions Steering Group will provide a platform to facilitate discussions amongst members to share ideas and opportunities for funding, gain an increased understanding of the needs of the community and being better equipped to address these needs.

Having a diverse and represented voice from across the city will be vital to the success of the Group. City Catering Southampton would like to hear from the following(but not limited too); service users, families, community groups, organisations, charities, community initiatives, public sector workers involved in health, social care etc, academics, politicians, suppliers volunteers and investors.

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, or would like to find out more information, please contact Jessica Clasby-Monk on Jessica.Clasby-Monk@citycateringsouthampton.co.uk or call 02380 33 2226.