People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to support a new campaign – after figures revealed more than 3,500 local youngsters are at risk of ‘holiday hunger’ this year.
New figures suggest demand on food banks rises during school holidays when free school meals are not available.
A study by End Child Poverty revealed more than 3,500 children in the Lichfield area were at risk from holiday hunger during 2018.
The Central England Co-operative is launching a summer appeal in partnership with local food banks in a bid to tackle the problem.
Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative’s chief executive, said: “We are proud to be able to support our food banks all year round and in the past few months have helped collect over 85,000 items to help people in need.
“We wanted to ensure that this great support continued and, after speaking to our food bank partners, knew that helping to tackle holiday hunger was the right thing to do.
“This summer we are appealing to our customers and members to support our campaign and help youngsters in need and their families so they don’t have to go without during the holidays.
“All we are asking is that people drop off one or more items into our food banks this summer and help make a real difference.”
The company say items donated in its stores, including food and toiletries, will be used to create bigger food parcels for families or provide special packed lunches for local projects looking to tackle holiday hunger amongst children.
Anna Feuchtwang, chairman of the End Child Poverty coalition, said: “Holiday hunger, when children lose the lunch provided by school, is an urgent problem and a direct consequence of rising levels of child poverty across the UK.
“Food banks are now critical sources of support and without urgent action increasing numbers of families will be reliant on the generosity of the public to feed their children.”