HOLIDAY HELP SCHEME

"Children are unable to concentrate on their education, for the worry of hunger and when they will next eat is constantly on their mind."

We have witnessed a truly shocking rise in child poverty over the last year in Manchester. The number of children supported by Manchester Central Foodbank has almost trebled, from just over 1,000 in 2019 to over 3,000 in 2020. Children made up 38% of all the individuals we supported last year, a record high level.

Seeing the huge rise in child poverty in 2020, MCF provided holiday replacement schools meals, working with 7 schools across the city, providing 5,500 meals. 87% of parents supported said that Covid had negatively impacted their financial situation. For more than 70% of parents, this was their first time accessing charitable food provision

These testimonies came from parents who received parcels:

"We are living off minuscule savings since there are no jobs due to the current crisis, so [the food parcel] will be very helpful."

"It’s been difficult to buy the essentials."

"The food served a great purpose to us. 6 weeks is a long time to worry about how to feed the children."

"I was actually able to share some of my food with a friend who is struggling but didn’t have access to something like this."

This testimony comes from a Family Liaison Officer at a local school:

"Food poverty is a crucial issue for our children. Having worked with children for several years in Manchester, it is clear to see that food poverty is worsening. The most important thing to mention here is the voices of our children who have shared that they are worried that there will be no food in the house for them to eat.

The growing number of children who worry about food is growing rapidly. The impact of this on their mental health and wellbeing is life-changing. As a result, children are unable to concentrate on their education, for the worry of hunger and when they will next eat is constantly on their mind.

It must be recognised that not only does this concern children who are entitled to free school meals but children from low-income families and families who will be affected by the current pandemic for years to come. Without urgent intervention, this is going to be a problem that will not go away on its own."

Our testimonials are direct transcriptions of interviews with foodbank users. If you would like to know more about our process in gathering testimonials email canyouhearme@manchestercentral.foodbank.org.uk.