Thousands of children and young people in Glasgow were able to enjoy a summer of fun, food, outdoor trips and activities through the Glasgow Children's Holiday Food Programme (GCHFP) funded by Glasgow City Council and delivered by third sector and community organisations.
A report to the Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee (20 January 2022) reveals the wide range of positive impacts which last year's summer programme had on young people and families - through social interaction, trying new activities, engaging within groups as well as having nutritious food and meals.
The GCHFP is a £2million programme funded by the council and delivered by community groups and third sector organisations. It was introduced in 2018 to help address food poverty.
Every year funding is allocated to organisations that already deliver holiday programmes to upscale and expand their usual activities to include food and spaces for more children to attend and take part during the school holidays.
Due to the pandemic and associated restrictions, organisations have not been able to run their usual holiday programme activity. However, during 2021 they pulled together and adapted their services to provide 16,637 nursery, primary and secondary age pupils with a mix of indoor and outdoor summer activities and nutritious meals and healthy snacks.
Glasgow's City Treasurer, Councillor Ricky Bell, welcomed the report and the positive partnership work the programme generated.
Cllr Bell said: "The risk and fear of children going without food during the school holidays is greatly reduced thanks to this unique programme. Participation in the holiday food programmes lessens the worries parents and carers have about feeding their children over the holiday period.
"The report has also shown the programme to have numerous associated benefits to the children attending, their families, the wider communities in which they run and even in the organisations themselves.
"Organisations worked exceptionally well in exceptional circumstances to make use of the council's funding and adapt their services to ensure children across the city had the chance to participate safely in more 'normal' activities such as day trips and outdoor play."
The GCHFP runs during April (Easter break), Summer, October and February.