Since 2019 Active Essex and Active Essex Foundation have taken the lead on combatting Holiday Hunger in Essex. Research shows that families are more likely to engage with a holiday hunger programme if it is part of a wider project hence why are projects offer the opportunity for physical activity, social interaction and a healthy nutritious meal.

Read the 2019 Holiday Hunger Evaluation here

Holiday Hunger 2020

In August 2020 Active Essex Foundation secured £88,000 from the National Lottery Emergency Fund to work with community partners to deliver holiday hunger programmes during half term, Christmas holidays and February half term. In addition to this ECC also allocated £72,000 of the DEFRA local authority emergency funding to support the October half term holiday hunger programmes.

This funding is being used to support 33 projects over the next 6 months and with an estimated to reach of over 1500 families in Essex most affected by food insecurity at this time.

All projects are led by locally trusted organisations and many projects have a consortium of partners working together (Charities, voluntary groups. Schools, Local authority teams, leisure centres, faith groups etc…).

These organisations are locally based and understand the local need, have trusted relationships with those who will be supported through the programme and so are able to target the support to those most in need, they also link in with local schools, foodbanks, local authority teams, Essex child and family wellbeing service to ensure they can reach those most in need.

All holiday hunger programmes are delivered differently depending on the local needs, but in general they are a fun physical activity session, for young people (and in some cases the parents) and a nutritious meal is provided. Some projects also provide home ingredient and recipe bags.

Using a targeted approach means these programmes are not advertised, but work with locally trusted organisations and voluntary groups to target those most in need.

ECC and Active Essex are working with the network of locally trusted organisations in order to look at how we can provide further support and secure funding over the next 6 months and further extend the holiday hunger programme, in terms of face to face delivery but also by providing food hampers for the whole family with the aim to support even families most at risk of experiencing food insecurity.

Organisations delivering Holiday Hunger activities

Locality Organisation
1 Basildon Motivated Minds
2 Basildon ATF
3 Basildon – Wickford Jack of All Sports
4 Basildon – Billericay West Ham
5 Basildon – Billericay Billericay Foodbank
6 Braintree Community 360
7 Brentwood Brentwood Leisure Trust
8 Brentwood Red Balloon
9 Brentwood – Hutton Prosports Solutions
10 Castlepoint Prosports Solutions
11 Castlepoint Yellow Door Canvey Youth Project
12 Chelmsford Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action
13 Chelmsford Premier Education
14 Colchester First Site
15 Colchester Essex Intergration
16 Colchester Colchester Utd
17 Colchester Colchester Foodbank
18 Epping Red Balloon
19 Harlow Changing Lives
20 Harlow Harlow Churches Together
21 Maldon Premier Education
22 Maldon St Cedds Primary School
23 Rochford St Marks Foodbank
24 Rochford and Castlepoint Rochford and Castlepoint SSP
25 Tendring Inclusion Ventures
26 Tendring Colchester Utd
27 Uttlesford Uttlesford Lunch Club
28 Uttlesford – Takeley Essex Boys and Girls Clubs
29 Thurrock Impulse Leisure
30 Thurrock Red Balloon
31 Southend Active Southend
32 Southend ATF and Get the Kids Out

Covid 19

Normal delivery of our projects has had to be altered to fit in with Covid regulations to ensure Covid secure venues and delivery:

Projects would engage an increased number of young people and many parents would join them to cook and eat together however because of the current Covid restrictions partners are delivering in smaller covid secure bubbles of 15 (the government out of schools settings states we can run activities for young people in bubbles of 15).

Provision of a hot meal has in the past been one of the big positives for the families engaged but because of restrictions most projects will be offering a packed lunch or healthy cold meal alternative to ensure they remain Covid secure.