A community centre is feeding Salford children for free over the October half term.
For some, the holidays might mean time to relax and forget about school work – but for low income families, it means worrying about finding food and affordable activities.
Langworthy Cornerstone, on Liverpool Street, has been offering food during school holidays for more than a year.
John Phillips, Chief Officer of Langworthy Cornerstone, explained how the scheme works to help both families and the environment.
“The cafe uses fareshare food, largely – there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s fantastic food – it would otherwise go to waste, so it’s better that somebody eats it rather than it go in the skip. It reduces our carbon footprint.
“The staff are employed anyway during the holidays, so it wouldn’t really cost us anything more to do it.”
The scheme also offers free soup and a bread roll to an accompanying adult.
One single dad, who began using the scheme over the summer holidays, said how it makes life ‘easier.’
“The children get a day out, they get a free meal and they enjoy it. It saves me from cooking and when they come out, they eat more because they see everybody else participating, too.”
Over the summer and during October half term, the scheme received a grant from Salford Community and Voluntary Services, meaning more families will be able to participate.
Recent figures from Greater Manchester Poverty Action show that Salford has fourth highest level of child poverty out of the ten Greater Manchester Boroughs. Ordsall has the highest level, with 59 percent, whereas Worsley has the lowest, at 13 percent.
Not only is the scheme tackling food poverty, but it also gives people the chance to socialise. One mother, who suffers from social anxiety, said how ‘helpful’ the scheme had been.
“Summertime was a struggle as I was on a low income – I still am – but it’s a bit easier throughout the school year. It’s not just finding dinners – it’s finding activities, too.
“It’s helped me to get into the community. Even the first few times [I used the service], when I didn’t speak to anybody… it has still helped me to say hello to the regulars.”