Churches to feed hungry children this summer
More than 100 churches are opening their doors this summer to help fill the holiday hunger gap
The 1.5 million children who are eligible for free school meals will be at risk of holiday hunger this summer - but several churches are stepping in to help.
TLG (Transforming Lives for Good) Make Lunch equips, supports and trains churches to run lunch clubs that serve hot and healthy meals, as well as providing engaging activities for children and families in local communities.
This summer the charity says that more than 100 churches are partnering with TLG to run Make Lunch clubs, and open their doors to struggling children and families at risk of holiday hunger over the long six week holidays.
Of those involved, 11 are Baptist churches. This includes Hay Hill Baptist Church in Bath, which is ready to open again this summer and is even thinking of expanding to other sites in future holidays.
Last summer Hay Hill opened twice a week in two areas of Bath. The sessions were designed to be fun and engaging, with games and craft ahead of the food.
‘Our guest families are starting to open up to us and relationships are developing between guests and volunteers,' said Lea Lawton, one of the project’s co-ordinators. 'One guest said that MakeLunch really helped her this summer, knowing that she and her children could get out of the house twice a week to somewhere safe and fun.
'We're hoping to develop the enrichment activities we offer to our guests to put on a really enjoyable event. We want to open another day a week in a different part of Bath to reach more children and their families.
'MakeLunch is a great opportunity for the church across the city to work together to serve our community and practically demonstrate the love of Jesus.’
Hannah Widdows, a Make Lunch spokesperson, said, 'For the 1.5 million children in the UK who are eligible for Free School Meals, the school holidays can mean a time of increased financial pressure and food insecurity for them and their families when that provision stops.
'We are always incredibly impressed with the servant-hearted nature of the churches we are working with and we are very proud of the work being done across the country as the church steps up to feed hungry children.'
MakeLunch is a great way for churches to connect with their local school, parents in their community and children who otherwise might go hungry.
For more information about how your church could run a TLG Make Lunch club email email@example.com or visit the website.
Foodbanks brace for hungry children - Foodbank networks said they are bracing themselves for increased demand over the six week school break. This BBC story includes input from Baptist minister Chris Lewis, who chairs a foodbank that ran out of supplies last summer