Children from across Wrexham have been provided with lunch during the school holidays as part of a new pilot project to tackle holiday hunger.
The Fit and Fed project brings together sport in local communities and the provision of lunch and is a collaboration between the Diocese of St Asaph, Streetgames, (a charity which takes sports into local communities), Brickfield Rangers based in Wrexham and Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Wales.
Two sessions were run at Brickfield Rangers during the Whitsun holiday, with more than 100 children taking part in physical activity, fun and games. Lunch was made by and delivered to Brickfield Rangers by members of nearby All Saints Church, Poyser Street as part of the Diocese of St Asaph’s commitment to end holiday hunger.
Churches in the Diocese of St Asaph run six projects in various communities in Rhyl and Wrexham during school holidays to help tackle holiday hunger.
The Engagement officer for the Diocese, Sarah Wheat said: “Holiday hunger is a real issue for many families who rely on the provision of free school meals or who struggle to make ends meet. Charities and holiday club providers often find that youngsters coming to events during school holidays are hungry and don’t bring lunch. Its right that the church works with such groups to help tackle holiday hunger by providing a healthy lunch.”
Streetgames Wales aims to make sport more widely available for disadvantaged young people and operates a network of Doorstep Sport providers. It’s the first time, the charity has collaborated with the Diocese of St Asaph and this project in Brickfield Rangers is it first Fit and Fed project in North Wales.
The project leader for Fit and Fed in Wales, Rachel Jones, said: “We’re working with various partners to manage successful pilot projects in Wales which we hope will be rolled out across the country. We work with some of the hardest to reach children and young people getting out to them and offering them both activities and food.”
Brickfield Rangers was started in Wrexham more than forty years ago by the local community to provide a space for youngsters to play football. Today it runs 32 teams across various sports, including football and netball. Among the visitors to the Fit and Fed project today (Friday 2 June) was Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Wrexham, Ian Lucas. In an impromptu Q&A session he was quizzed by the forty youngsters attending the session on his favourite sport, his favourite team and what it was like to play at Wembley!
The Vicar of All Saints, Father Sam Erlandson delivered the packed lunches. He said: “We are very pleased to be involved with this project. It’s right that the church makes connections with people throughout the local community and shows, in a very practical way, that it cares.”
Churches across the Diocese of St Asaph will be partnering with various play teams and charities to provide lunches during the summer holidays next month. Streetgames Wales is looking to extend its provision in Wrexham and other parts of North Wales during future school holidays.
You can find out more about the Diocese of St Asaph’s commitment to tackle holiday hunger at http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/news/2017/04/more-churches-step-up-to-tackle-holiday-hunger/