Updated: Wednesday, 20th November 2019 @ 2:08pm

'Families are struggling to afford life's basics': Salford Council pleads for food help scheme funding

'Families are struggling to afford life's basics': Salford Council pleads for food help scheme funding

| By Anna Staufenberg

Salford City Council needs funding to repeat a food help scheme which fed 3000 children over the summer.

The council set up the voucher scheme after their application to the Department for Education’s holiday hunger fund was rejected - one of 88% that were, a Freedom of Information request from The Guardian and Channel 4 News revealed.

The roughly £87,000 scheme was instead funded by the Salford Crisis Assist scheme and the Booth Charities, Salford, also made a substantial grant.

Deputy City Mayor Councillor Paula Boshell stressed the significance of the scheme.

“So many families, working or not, are struggling to afford the basics of life.”

Free school meals relieve some pressure on the family budget but during holidays families have to meet the costs themselves, she added.

“There is a clear need for this kind of support. We are already discussing plans for next year and investigating sources of funding.”

The council received over 1000 applications in the first ten days, eventually accepting all 2100 applications to provide around 42% of eligible children with £30’s worth of food vouchers each day.

Cabinet member for culture and leisure Luthfur Rahman said: “Many organisations have come together, including the voluntary sector and schools to fill the gap, however this is a sticking plaster at best.”

Holiday hunger is a growing problem in Manchester, with 2018 experiencing a 52% increase in demand on 2017.

The DfE announced this year it would quadruple spending on such programmes to £9million.