The 'Food and Fun' programme piloted this summer by Food Cardiff has been a relief for many families and gave impetus to the community as it invited children to come and play with their friends, try new activities and enjoy a nutritious hot meal.
Five schools across the Community First areas of Cardiff have hosted the programme which ran three days per week between 9.30am and 12.30pm for four weeks, provided children with a morning snack followed by fun activities including sport delivered by Sports Cardiff, creative and educational play, nutrition skills mapped to the National Curriculum and a hot lunch provided by City of Cardiff Council Education Catering. Parents and siblings were also invited to join the children for lunch once a week
Dr Sharon Hopkins, Director of Public Health at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “With this new approach, the summer holiday programme has enabled Food Cardiff to engage with children and their families to share advice on good nutrition. This ensures children are learning about and having good quality meals that can help them sustain energy to play and have fun throughout the holidays.
The pilot was the result of a successful joint effort by the Food Cardiff partnership composed of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (Public Health team and Public Health dietitians), Public Health Wales, City of Cardiff Council Education Catering, Cardiff University and chaired by the Head of WRAP Cymru.
Providing a solution to the problem of child care during the holidays, the pilot has also proved to be of wider benefit to the community with school facilities being opened up for use instead of being closed for 170 days of the year and the need for teaching assistants and catering staff to help the run the project, giving additional training, skills and experience to individuals. The project has also helped with children’s learning through the holidays with the activities having an educational benefit in line with the National Curriculum.
The impact of the project on families, staff and the community will be fully evaluated in the months to come so watch this space for more information on this very promising new school holiday programme.
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Belfast Food Network's report Enough is Enough: Why we urgently need to tackle food poverty in Belfast looked into why use of food banks has increased in the city and made recommendations for a collaborative response to food poverty. An updated Food Poverty Plan review was published in 2018.
Food Power resources on ‘Mapping and measuring food poverty’, ‘Developing food poverty action plans’.
Belfast City Council initially funded Belfast Food Network (BFN) recognising the role it could play in tackling food poverty. BFN subsequently set up the multi-agency Food Poverty Working Group, including the Council and other key stakeholders, to coordinate action locally. This included undertaking a baseline study and developing a strategic response to food poverty through the Enough is Enough initiative. (p7)
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