From Monday 3 July, 26 schools in the west of Scotland will be taking part in Children in Scotland's expanded Food, Families, Futures programme.
In partnership with Glasgow City Council, local groups and food distribution company Brakes' Meals & More programme, Food, Families, Futures (FFF) aims to ensure that families finding themselves in need when term-time free school meal ends can access meals and support.
Through the project children and families will enjoy meals and fun activities, with community chefs on site at four schools to prepare healthy fresh food.
Participating primaries include Dalmarnock, Ibrox, Highpark, Langfaulds and Miller, and a joint club for Oakwood and St Benedict's pupils.
Also part of the FFF summer schedule are three Gorbals community projects, Bridging the Gap, Task Childcare and Gorbals Youth Café, which will be open to children and families from Blackfriars and St Francis primaries.
Summer 2017 sees the FFF programme increasing from two to 26 schools in a year. The project launched last July at Dalmarnock and Ibrox primaries in Glasgow. A total of 80 children registered to attend the club at Dalmarnock, while this year more than 100 per day are due to take part.
Councillor Chris Cunningham, Glasgow City Council's City Convener for Education, Skills & Early Years, welcomed the expansion. He said: "This is such an excellent initiative - and very effective as the outcomes from last year proved.
"I'm delighted that the council is helping to fund the expansion this year and that many more of our families in need across the city will benefit.
"The beginning of the school holidays is a joy to so many but creates additional, unwanted pressure to people experiencing food poverty. This worthy project will help, in some small way, to reduce some of this stress for our families across Glasgow."
Lorraine Booth, head teacher of Glasgow's Miller Primary, whose project started on Wednesday 28 June, said: "We've had a really positive response from our families and it's been a great couple of days already. I know that the impact of the summer club will be amazing and our school is very grateful to be a part of the programme."
The FFF programme will also run in West Dunbartonshire, with Vale of Leven Academy and Clydebank High Schools open from 3 - 14 July to welcome pupils from 19 local primaries.
Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services at West Dunbartonshire, said: "We're delighted to be working in partnership with Children in Scotland on this project which will provide really positive support to families and young people. This two-week programme will provide activities for young people and bring families together to prepare and enjoy healthy meals. It complements the summer holidays camps which we have organised in schools to support pupils from areas of higher deprivation."
Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock said: "We're proud to be working with schools in Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire over the summer as part of this growing project. FFF demonstrates the fantastic assets our local communities possess, and how they can draw on their strengths to improve experiences for children and families over the summer holiday period - a time that we know can bring real difficulties."
Growth of the FFF programme follows the successful pilots in Dalmarnock and Ibrox and ongoing academic evaluation of summer holiday clubs across the UK led by Professor Greta Defeyter of Northumbria University.
Early findings from Professor Defeyter's evaluation, presented at a recent Children in Scotland conference, suggested that FFF increased reading gain amongst the children who took part.
FFF is supported by Brakes as part of the company's UK-wide Meals & More programme. Pem Helusi, Programme Manager for Meals & More, said:
"We are delighted to support Children in Scotland in the fight against holiday hunger. Now into our second year in Scotland, we have 122 clubs up and running across the UK to bring holiday provision to nearly 4,000 children. With an industry forum at the House of Commons this year and our number of clubs ever-growing, we'll continue to build the movement and fight against UK child poverty."