Trussell Trust and Government Help to End Summer Holiday Hunger

- by Becky Hall

87,496 children turned to Trussell Trust Foodbanks for food during the 2018 school holidays – a 20% rise from 2017. Find out from Cashfloat the good the charity does as well as what other programmes are feeding children during school holidays.

children using food bank like trussell trust due to school holiday hunger- cashfloat

When the school term ends, so does free meals for over 1 million children in the UK. Many of these children face ‘holiday hunger’ as their parents’ stretched budgets cannot accommodate the additional £240 expense over the six week holidays.

The Trussell Trust launched an appeal for more food supply donations before the school summer holidays see an increase in young children relying on meals provided by food banks. In 2016 it was noticed that there was an increase during this period as children missed out on their school lunches. In this article, Cashfloat explores what Trussell Trust charity, the government and other organisations are doing to help hunger in the school holidays.

These are Trussell Trust’s contact details:

What Is the Trussell Trust?

The Trussell Trust is a charitable organisation that provides food for hungry people in the UK. They are responsible for over 1,200 food banks throughout the UK that helps to feed the 14 million people who are living below the poverty line – 4.5 million of whom are children. Doctors and social services can give vouchers to people who they deem in need of help. The people can then exchange the vouchers at a food bank for a three day supply of balanced, nutritious food. It can be a lifesaver for some families. 1.6 million three-day emergency food supplies were given out by Trussell Trust between April 2018 and March 2019. Foodbanks have been under increased strain lately as the 5-week wait for Universal Credit system forces more people to turn to foodbanks and loans to cover the missing period.

Why Does the Trussell Trust Need a Summer Appeal?

A few years ago Trussell Trust and other charities noticed an increase in hungry children during the school holidays. A 2017 Parliament report noted that one million children are fed by school meals – who is feeding these children during the school summer holidays? The point is driven home by 2016 data published by the Trust, which shows a 4000+ surge in food packages to children between term-time (May and June) and school-holidays (July and August).

What Age Children Rely on use Trussell Trust Food Banks

In a break down of the provided food parcels, there is a clear indication that younger children are more vulnerable. Here are the percentages of food parcels given to different age groups of children.

graph of different age children using food banks like trussell trust - cashfloat

These figures clearly show the need for more support for young children. According to the Trust, these worrying high percentages of young children are consistent all year round which highlights the need for all year round support, not just during the summer holidays.

What Trussell Trust Foodbanks Offer During School Holidays

It was the Trussell Trust that first noticed the increased need during the holiday and responded. During this year’s school summer holidays, many food banks in the Trussell Trust network will be providing extra support for families.

Some of the children there have parents who work but cannot afford the high cost of childcare and feeding their child. Holiday Clubs at Trussell Trust foodbanks not only provide children with food but also their parents with advice from volunteers. Volunteers sit down with parents, and together they analyse what can be done differently to improve the financial situation. Trussell Trust staff also put parents in touch with the local social services or relevant support agencies.

What the Government Is Doing to Feed Children in the Holidays

In 2019 the government responded to the needs of the school holiday period by funding free meals and activities for 50 000 children. The Department of Educated allocated a budget of £9.1 million to be used by 11 local co-ordinators to take care of children during school holidays.

Find out Where to Get Free Meals During School Holidays (2019)

Region Local Co-ordinator
Newcastle, North East region StreetGames
Chester and Cheshire West, North West region Essential
Bradford, Yorkshire & the Humber region Transforming Lives for Good
Yorkshire & the Humber region Leeds Community Foundation
Birmingham, West Midlands region Happy Healthy Holidays consortium
Leicestershire, East Midlands region Barnardo’s
East of England region Suffolk County Council
Family Action Croydon, London region
Hampshire, South East region The Romsey School
South West region Plymouth County Council
North East region Gateshead Council

What You Can Do to Help Tackle Holiday Hunger

With 3 million children expected to face holiday hunger, government programmes won’t satisfy all the hungry tummies. In addition to Trussell Food Banks, there are other organisations that are stepping up against holiday hunger. These programmes, along with Trussell Trust foodbanks, can use your help in keeping pantries stocked this summer.

Ways you can help Trussell Trust

  • Call your local food bank and find out what items they need.
  • Donate your time to your local Trussell Trust
  • Donate online to Trussell Trust


The increased demand for food for children during the school holidays draws attention to the desperation of many families in the UK. These young children are usually fed for at school during term time, yet summer holidays face hunger. It indicates that more help is needed from the government to feed the families in need. This should be instead of relying on charities to do their work for them. This year the government has rolled out programmes, yet readers can still help organisations meet the shortfall.

make a one off donation to trusel trust
About The Author
Becky Hall
Becky never thought she would be a financial blogger. But Fate arranged that Becky had to put her accounting degree on the back burner right after she graduated with a first in Business and Accounting. While doing bookkeeping as a freelancer for private clients, Becky noticed how many cashflow problems can be solved with a little bit of education. Trying to keep her clients out of debt, Becky began writing resources which she distributed to clients. What began as writing advice for clients evolved into a passion and now Becky found her platform at Cashfloat. When she isn’t writing, calculating or budgeting, Becky can be found at her piano playing something classical.
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