This summer over 3,000 people visited markets across Preston aimed at helping to ease holiday hunger.Advertisement
The Holiday Market project was supported by Preston City Council and delivered by schools, faith organisations and community groups.
Holiday hunger, which is the term used to define a shortage of nutritious food for families and children during school holidays, can put increased pressure on family budgets. It can affect children who receive free school meals and families on low or insecure incomes.
Working with national charity FareShare, the council developed the initiative and carried out pilots last year. While 36 markets took place in summer 2018, this year the number increased to 60.
Read more: Inside one of Preston’s Holiday Hunger markets – with families on the breadline
Support came from Let’s Grow Preston and local allotmenteers, who donated fruit and veg to increase the amount of nutritious food available.
The holiday markets work on a pay-as-you-feel basis, enabling families to donate as much or as little as they are able.
Families attending the markets told the Council it made it easier to manage their budgets during a time when costs rise by up to £30 per child, per week.
Councillor Nweeda Khan, cabinet member for communities and social justice at Preston City Council, said: “The cost of buying extra food and entertaining children through the school summer holidays can be a worry. That’s why it’s a priority for the council to be supporting the Holiday Market initiative across the city.
“Holiday markets are not food banks, they have been developed to increase access to good food for families facing food insecurity, without judgment.
“These figures show their success for a second year and the high value to Preston families.”
A visitor to one of the holiday markets said: “Great idea having the summer market, it’s really helped with the financial cost of summer holidays. The fresh fruit and veg has been amazing to cook with and we have all loved it. Thank you.”
A second visitor said: “Thank you so much for arranging the summer market, it has been like a lifeline, ensuring we have food on the table. It’s made a big difference to our household bills!”
Read more: Preston food bank running out of supplies as donations drop
What do you think of the Holiday Markets initiative? Let us know in the comments below.