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More churches step up to tackle holiday hunger

Busy making butties web

Volunteers at five churches across Wrexham and Rhyl have been making sandwiches throughout the Easter school holidays to ensure children visiting play centres receive a healthy meal.

It’s part of the Diocese of St Asaph’s commitment, in partnership with local authority play teams, to help tackle holiday hunger.  Up to 200 meals have been prepared each day across the two towns.

For the first time two churches, Holy Trinity in Gwersyllt and St Tudfil in Coedpoeth have prepared sandwiches, snacks and fruit to deliver to local play teams.  They’ve joined St Mark’s in Caia Park, Wrexham, St John’s in Rhosymedre and St Anne’s in Rhyl who have been preparing healthy lunches in school holidays for the last 18 months.

Handing over a healthy lunch webThe church warden at St Tudfils, Pat Edwards (far left) said: “We’ve had an amazing response from the church congregation and local community to our plans to provide lunches for children during the Easter Holidays.

“Our local Spar shop and the Diocese of St Asaph have donated money for the food and an excellent team of volunteers has arrived extra early to ensure the filled rolls are made in good time.”

Like the other churches, the volunteers at St Tudfil’s plan to provide healthy lunches for the play centres during the Whitsun and Summer school holidays.

Earlier this year the Welsh Government announced that it is providing £500,000 of funding for holiday lunch and activity clubs across Wales.  It follows pressure from the Diocese of St Asaph and other community/voluntary groups for statutory provision to help children who benefit from free school breakfasts and lunches and who go hungry once their school closes for the holidays.   The money will help provide breakfast, lunch, education about eating healthily, and a programme of activities developed through the schools taking part.

The Engagement Officer for the Diocese of St Asaph, Sarah Wheat said: “While we welcome the Welsh Government’s initiative to support those children who miss out on meals during school holidays, we know there will still be many who don’t qualify for this provision.  We’re committed to providing meals during school holidays for those who need them for as long as it is necessary.”