Beyond Housing is supporting working or furloughed families in Scarborough, Whitby and Filey who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by providing free lunch packages for children not eligible for the free school meals voucher scheme.
The housing provider is funding the Summer Superstars programme which is distributing weekday lunch packs throughout the six-week school holidays for customers’ children aged between seven and 16 years who do not qualify for the government scheme. Many of the families have been hit hard by the pandemic, with reduced incomes, not being able to work or a lack of entitlement to benefits or the government financial support available.
Beyond Housing committed £5,000 to fund the programme, which is providing 240 packs to around 100 families.
The packs are being distributed through five hubs across the area to enable easy access – Whitby Food Bank; Gallows Close Centre, Barrowcliff; Westway Open Arms, Eastfield; Filey Community Fridge and The Rainbow Centre, Scarborough.
The National Literacy Trust is also supporting the scheme by donating weekly prize bundle of books and magazines, together with Roald Dahl-themed activity sheets to help encourage children to stay engaged in reading during the holidays.
Stephanie Lake, Community Connector Coordinator at Beyond Housing said: “I’m delighted that Beyond Housing is able to support families who are struggling with the financial implications of furlough, short hours or self-employment in this way.
“We’re helping customers who are not eligible for free school meals vouchers but whose incomes have been impacted by the lockdown and are finding it difficult to make ends meet in the short term.
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I know that for many families the lunch packs are a lifeline during the long school holidays.”
Kimmie Avison, Gallows Close Centre Community Development Worker added: “It’s been great to have this opportunity to support people in our local community. We’ve been able to welcome some of our regular visitors and also quite a few new faces, some of whom have joined in our centre activities.”