Extra cash to tackle Portsmouth holiday hunger

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A SUCCESSFUL project that aims to stamp out school holiday hunger has received a £4,000 boost.

Portsmouth City Council’s Summer Food and Fun scheme, previously known as Holiday Hunger, will operate once again this summer after councillors voted in favour of its new budget.

Launched in 2017, the programme provided free healthy breakfasts and lunches for children over the six week summer holidays to ensure those who received free food at school would not miss out during the break.

More than 4,500 meals were handed out last summer from the various project locations including youth clubs and adventure playgrounds with donations from companies and charities such as Warburtons and Food Portsmouth.

Children were also encouraged to consider the importance of nutrition and keeping food waste to minimum.

The extra cash means the scheme can expand. Marshada Chowdhury, a member of the council’s health development team, said: ‘We want to be able to reach more children in deprived areas.’

Figures provided by the Joint Strategic Needs Assesment for Portsmouth revealed that deprivation in the area is higher than the average in England. It said about 22 per cent of all dependent children under the age of 20 years live in poverty.