A pilot scheme to prevent children in Hartlepool from going hungry during the school holidays has been extended after it ran out of food early due to demand.
Hartlepool Borough Council launched the £13,000 Holiday Hunger food parcel scheme on July 25 and had been intended to last until Friday, September 2.
There are high levels of deprivation in parts of our town and this scheme is intended to help the most hard-pressed families with childrenCouncillor Alan Clark
But demand proved so high that all 480 food parcels had been handed out this week.
The council has confirmed the scheme, which is run in partnership with the Trussell Trust charity and Hartlepool Foodbank, will continue until the original end date.
Councillor Alan Clark, Chair of the council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “I’m delighted we are in a position to continue the scheme which is vital to the well-being of our local community.
“We are aware that there are high levels of deprivation in parts of our town and this scheme is intended to help the most hard-pressed families with children.”
The scheme is open to families with children who would normally be entitled to free school meals during term time, but face going without during the holidays because of pressures on families finances.
It is funded from the council’s Child and Family Poverty Reserve and means families can apply for a food parcel once a week at one of three venues across the town.
The scheme restarted on Friday afternoon and resumes from Tuesday, August 30, to Friday 2 September.
Food parcels will be available at West View Advice and Resource Centre, Miers Avenue, 9am–5pm; Chatham Children’s Centre, Chatham Road, 9am–5pm and Owton Manor Community Centre, Wynyard Road, 10am–2pm.
The parcels include staple foods such as rice, pasta, tinned vegetables and tinned meat and fish.
They also include information to recipients how they can access advice and information for residents, including other support services available such as money advice and healthy recipes.
Youngsters have also benefited from healthy meals and snacks provided by 18 community groups after applying for a share of a new £25,000 council grant fund.
For further information about the food parcel scheme, contact Steven Carter, Health Improvement Practitioner at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (01429) 523583.