“It was really fun!”
Half term holiday clubs run by the new Caritas Food Collective have been voted a great success by participants.
Final figures show that, a total of 409 meals were made and served at the seven clubs run across the diocese. That’s an average of nearly 60 meals each day to children and their parents, many of whom may well have struggled to provide healthy food for their kids that day.
We also gave out 224 bags of food – giving every family attending the reassurance of nutritious food at home in the days ahead.
But that’s not all.
Those attending reported that they enjoyed the community feeling and the range of activities for the kids. Each event was well planned to have a number of activities – indoors and out – such as mask making, playdough, decorating biscuits, football, and even child-friendly archery.
During the morning the children – and their parents, made their own pizzas using a range of ingredients, which were cooked and eaten for lunch, along with freshly prepared salad, coleslaw and fruit salad for dessert.
At the end of the day all the families attended took home a bag of food which had been brought to the venue by the Felix Project. This organisation collects fresh but unsellable food from supermarkets and delivers it to charities.
Feedback from the seven Holiday Clubs, which took place across Westminster Diocese from Islington to Stevenage, was almost entirely positive. Many parents commented that their children might have been stuck inside playing computer games, but instead were socialising and being creative. One mum said “I enjoyed the way my child was engaged into activities. Not a single dull moment.”
Another parent told us that her son had been ill and stuck at home for 2 months. “This holiday club gave him an outing and enjoyment”
Each club was run with the support of numerous volunteers, who worked in the kitchens or helped with the children’s activities. Volunteers told us that they had a fulfilling day, saying “It was a privilege to be involved” and that it was “Good in terms of actively bringing out our faith”.
Our holiday clubs certainly provide more than just food, and over the coming months we intend to support these communities with more clubs, and find out more about their underlying needs. This might include struggling with debts, benefit delays and other financial difficulties, or it might be lack of knowledge of nutrition and cooking, or simply not having the kitchen equipment required to cook healthy meals from scratch. Our project aims to address both immediate needs and the root causes of food poverty in the diocese.
If you would like to get involved in Caritas Food Collective please contact Anna Gavurin.