The government announced today that is was going to continue providing support for children eligible for free school meals over the summer holidays. This will be a great relief to so many families. We operate independently of the free school meal vouchers provided – in other words our families may get vouchers and have our free meal boxes. Speaking with the families we support it is clear that even with the vouchers our family food boxes are a great help. We had just started gearing up to thinking about how we could help more during the summer holidays if the free school meal support wasn’t made available. So this is really good news that the vouchers are going to continue.
We are holding our breath though in case it makes it seem like families don’t need any further support. While the vouchers are great and ensure a child can get a decent lunch every day, many families under a lot of financial and social pressure, and to coin a phrase, Every Little Helps (Tesco lawyers, please donate to help us support more families here!) Catch 77 approaches community resilience in a systemic way, and believes that helping vulnerable households meet critical needs allows them to develop their own resilience. We support households who are experiencing disproportionate impacts of Covid-19 by providing them with food security so that they can absorb and adapt to the impact of the pandemic effects. The families we help tell us it isn’t just about the food (although the pasties seem particularly popular!) but getting the boxes and meal plans helps reduces the stress of providing decent meals for the family and in turn helps them deal with some of the other stuff that the pandemic has been throwing their way.