Diocesan press releases

Churches provide meals for youngsters to curb ‘holiday hunger’

Healthy lunches will be delivered to play centres in Wrexham and Rhyl this week as part of the Diocese of St Asaph’s commitment to tackle holiday hunger.

Volunteers from churches and community groups in Wrexham, St Anne’s Church in Rhyl and St Mary’s in Towyn will be providing soup and sandwiches for more than 140 children every day.

Sarah Wheat from the Diocese of St Asaph who’s co-ordinating the project in Wrexham said: “While many people will be over-indulging during the festive period, the lack of free school meals during holidays, can mean hunger for some children.

“In partnership with the local play teams, we provide nutritional food which is free so youngsters can enjoy a healthy and happy Christmas without fear of hunger.”

In Wrexham, members of the Caia Park Health Team joined volunteers from St Mark’s Church to make Lentil and Vegetable Soup and Leek and Potato Soup for distribution at The Venture Play Centre and Gwenfro Valley.

The recipe for each soup is from the Come and Cook recipe book which is used as the basis of the Community Nutritional Cookery Course run by the Caia Park Health Team.

Nina Patterson, a Health Improvement Practitioner volunteering at St Mark’s, said: “These soups are fantastic for helping children eat their five pieces of fresh fruit or vegetables each day.  They’re tasty and nutritious and will help ensure children stay healthy while free school meal provision is closed during the holiday period.”

In Rhyl, volunteers from the churches in the town along with nearby Towyn are making sandwiches for 40 children attending the Rhyl Adventure Playground.  In the summer the churches were awarded a grant of more than £1,500 by the Gwynt y Môr Community Fund to support the holiday hunger project.

The Vicar of Rhyl, the Revd Andy Grimwood, said: “It’s good to be working together to support those in most need in our community.

“In addition to providing lunches, we’ve been invited to hold a nativity service at the adventure playground by staff there and were delighted to take up the invitation.  We hope to be joined by plenty of children and their parents or carers for the service at 4pm on Friday (23 December).

“Thanks to the generosity of church members every child coming along will be given a selection pack to enjoy over Christmas.”

Lunch will be provided in the Wrexham Play Centres this week and when they are open next week.  In Rhyl, lunch is being provided this week.