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Families struggling to feed their families in school holidays receive a boost

1st September 2016

A local Bolton initiative to provide free packed lunches to needy families has received a boost from health and wellbeing provider Benenden - who have donated money to supply around 1000 children with a healthy packed lunch. Volunteers from the organisation will also be on hand to help prepare and pack the lunches.

Areas in Bolton are amongst the most deprived in England, with 8,600 children eligible for free school meals. In the summer holidays, many families struggle to provide their children with the lunch which they would normally receive at school. The ‘Bolton Lunches’ project led by Urban Outreach supports households on low-incomes, providing help to relieve pressure on budgets and ensuring that the children do not skip meals.

With Benenden on board as a sponsor, this has helped the project reach out to more children and adults during the 2016 Bolton school holidays (25th July to 2nd September 2016).  The costs of the project and each lunch are purely the direct costs of providing the packed lunches, as the lunches are prepared and packed by an army of volunteers at the charities warehouse. The lunches are then handed out at 19 distribution centres across town.

Paul Keenan, Group Head of Communications at Benenden said this “It’s so important that children from low income families are given the same opportunities for a nutritious meal as children from other backgrounds. This project resonates with our values as a health and wellbeing mutual and it has inspired us to create a healthy eating leaflet, which will be given to each of the families receiving the lunches.

“As a leading UK health and wellbeing organisation, Benenden aims to support a range of local projects or activities that have a real impact on the communities which they aim to help. Because of the levels of deprivation in Bolton and the opportunity to have a direct impact on the health of children, this was an ideal choice for our support. We really hope the children enjoy their lunch and the parents find the tips on our leaflet useful”

Dave Bagley, Chief Executive at Urban Outreach said “We really value the support we’ve received from Benenden, not only the funding for the lunches, but the provision of healthy eating information to help the families provide nutritious meals on a budget.

The project has an additional benefit of improving social links within the community and reducing loneliness,as parents and children access local community venues to pick up the lunches, they will hear about other summer activities happening locally. Bolton Lunches will facilitate greater contact between families and their community - encouraging families to be more active and enjoy local facilities, which will reduce boredom and anti-social behaviour in the long summer holidays.

For more information on the project and how you can help or receive a packed lunch for your child, please visitwww.urbanoutreach.co.uk

Ends

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