Charity innovation will be piloted in Glasgow and Irvine to help tackle Scotland's food poverty crisis
Schools in some of Scotland’s most deprived communities will be opened at weekends and during holidays to provide emergency food aid to poor families.
Two pilot schemes will see meals and other support given out to people in the Ibrox area of Glasgow and Irvine in Ayrshire – areas which have been identified as having high levels of child poverty.
The project is part of a charity partnership aimed at providing an innovative approach to Scotland’s food poverty crisis.
TFN recently revealed that cases of hunger in our communities are under-reported and are much higher than available figures suggest.
The Food, Familes and Futures programme, which will be launched in the spring, is being led by Children in Scotland, in partnership with Scottish Business in the Community and food supply company Brakes.
The level of food poverty in Scotland now, and its impact on children and families, is completely unacceptable
Opening schools during holidays and at the weekend will be just one facet of the scheme, with more details due next year.
Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock said: “The level of food poverty we are seeing in Scotland now, and its impact on children and families in terms of their security, wellbeing and education, is completely unacceptable. Families deserve better.
“Free school meals are a lifeline for many families, but when this provision ends, at weekends and in particular during holidays, it can mean crisis. That’s why we have taken action to devise a project that will empower schools and communities to access meals and activities during these key times of greatest need.”
Jane Wood, chief executive of Scottish Business in the Community, said: “As the leading voice on responsible business in Scotland, SBC is determined to unlock the education, employment and enterprise potential of our disadvantaged communities. We are proud to support Children in Scotland's innovative Food, Families and Futures project.
“SBC will use our convening power in Scotland’s responsible business movement to encourage business to play its powerful role as a positive force for change for individuals, communities and society as a whole.”
Brakes will be lead the provision of food. John McLintock, managing director, said: “As part of our groundbreaking Meals & More programme, our role will be to ensure good quality meals are available in these communities and that our practical input, alongside Children in Scotland and SBC, helps tackle child poverty.
“This will include practical training, help with nutrition and providing volunteers, as well as the essential ingredients to create tasty, nutritious menus for the children participating in clubs to enjoy. We are delighted to be working with Children in Scotland on this as its corporate associate member.”