A record number of children across Scotland have benefitted from holiday activities and nutritious meals while schools were shut for the holidays, including 1,093 children in North Ayrshire.
National charity Cash For Kids received £250,000 from the SNP Government’s Fair Food Fund, which they distributed across a range of community groups offering holiday programmes and linking up with local authority activity. Four of these projects took place in North Ayrshire, benefitting 880 children across the local authority area.
Nationally, Cash For Kids provided activities to more than 61,000 children, up from the 37,000 children supported last year.
Centrestage in Ayrshire also received £54,000 from the same fund to expand their Dignified Food Project. This summer, Centrestage supported 213 North Ayrshire children through their project work in Ardeer, Ardrossan, Irvine, Kilbirnie, and Pennyburn.
The SNP Government has focussed £2 million from the £3.5 million Fair Food Fund specifically on school holidays, with £692,000 awarded for 2019-20 to support families send their children to a holiday club scheme.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell MSP said:
“School holidays should be a time for fun and excitement for children, but for some families it brings financial pressures, particularly due to UK Government welfare cuts and austerity. We want to ensure that families who need additional support have access to a place where their children can go and receive a healthy meal and take part in fun activities.
“The partnership with local authorities and the third sector is key to tackling food insecurity and child poverty. This is a priority for the SNP Government and we are working to ensure that those most in need receive the right support.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“It is deeply saddening that in 2019, we still have to confront the reality that without school meals, many children across Scotland do not have access to regular nutritious meals.
“I am therefore heartened that the SNP Government set aside a significant portion of its Fair Food Fund to support so many children across North Ayrshire and Scotland this summer.”