Manchester Central Foodbank are appealing for donations, as we prepare to support 10 schools around the city as part of our annual Holiday Help programme.
Through the Equal Start Network, we’re aiming to provide over 430 food parcels to children who are at risk of going hungry over the Christmas holidays. Food parcels contain a traditional mix of nutritionally-balanced store-cupboard food, plus some festive additions.
The 10 schools are based across Central, East and North Manchester, and are all in deprived areas – each school has over 40% of pupils eligible for Free School Meals.
Although some support is provided for those pupils over the holidays, it often isn’t enough, and we’re once again running the Holiday Help project to assist families who are struggling most ahead of Christmas.
We are asking the Manchester community to come together over the festive season and donate to help support the Holiday Help project. Each parcel costs us around £10 to put together, with a range of items including cereal, UHT milk, tinned fruit and vegetables, biscuits, chocolate and more.
Suzy Keen, Operations Manager at Manchester Central Foodbank, said: “We know from our previous projects that families struggle during the school holidays to provide enough food for their families as children miss out on breakfast clubs, free snacks and drinks that are provided by the schools as well as free school meals.
“We are grateful to the partner schools who work with us to identify those children most in need and are looking to support over 430 children in Manchester again this winter.”
Members of the public can donate £10 by texting XMASMCR10 to 70085, which will go directly to providing a food parcel for a family in Manchester who are struggling this Christmas.
As well as providing food parcels, Manchester Central Foodbank is working in partnership with the City Council this Christmas to provide each child a book for free, as well as signposting parents to extra support they are able to access.
“Many families face tough challenges at Christmas time due to the increased cost of living, having to heat the home each day and feed their children. By providing food parcels and books to children as they break up for their Christmas holidays, we’re hoping to be able to provide a little bit of festive cheer as well as keeping people healthy,” Suzy Keen added.
“Due to the large amount of parcels we’re giving out, we have had to purchase all the food wholesale, which costs the charity nearly £5,000. This project is in addition to the standard foodbank service which feeds over 1,200 people a month.”
“We are extremely grateful for anyone who feels able to donate to support us this winter, so we can continue to support people across Manchester into the New Year and beyond.”