Norwich Foodbank 2020 text

Norwich initiative to stop children going hungry 

Norwich Foodbank has launched an initiative to help prevent child hunger during school holidays and wants to work with churches, schools, community groups, care agencies, allotments and local businesses to help set up and run free food and fun in school holiday clubs in the most deprived areas of Norwich.

Norwich was named as the authority with the highest percentage of children in poverty in the East of England by a Campaign to End Child Poverty report in February 2013 and, according to the Department of Education, 23.5% of children in Norwich were eligible for free school lunches as of summer 2012.

The campaign has been backed by local politicians and foodbank supporters:

Susan Hill author and Patron: “The FISH scheme is a brilliant one. When my daughters were at school, the long holidays, especially the summer one, were a challenge in terms of giving them things to do and I was always looking for local clubs and activities which would keep them busy and entertained. I was fortunate enough to be able to feed my children but I am all too aware that many mothers struggle without the daily help of a school dinner to rely on, so FISH clubs combine everything neatly and I do hope a lot of people will support them in whatever way they can.”
Chloe Smith, MP Norwich North: "This project is another shining example of very active volunteers doing a good thing for our community. They have identified a need and are doing something about it. I hope this helps many Norwich families who may value lunch, fun and friendship over the school holidays. I am proud of the amazing charity team behind this and the Norwich Foodbank."
Jessica Asato, Labour PPC for Norwich North: "The Foodbank’s new Food In School Holidays project will help to ensure that children still get a good quality meal even when schools are closed. This new initiative by Norwich Foodbank is incredibly welcome and I encourage everyone in the local community to get behind it.”
Sandra Bogelein, Green Party councillor: "The FISH project has identified and targets a real need. We have to make sure that vulnerable children get healthy, balanced meals and a space for fun and exciting activities during school breaks."
Marguerite Phillips, Mothers Union Norwich Diocesan President:  "Mothers Union is there to support families and family life and so we are delighted to promote this vital initiative that will help take some of the pressure off struggling local parents in the school holidays and provide their children with food and stimulating activities.”
Now the Norwich Foodbank-backed FISH (Food (and Fun) In School Holidays) initiative aims to help address the issue of children going hungry during school holidays when no free school meals are provided and Schools Parent Support Advisors are not available to help.

Norwich Foodbank project manager, Grant Habershon, said: ‘‘School holidays are a particularly difficult time for families, with more than a quarter of parents saying they can’t provide food for all the meals their children need according to a recent national report. Also, cost prevents these children from going to clubs that provide stimulating activities in the school holidays and they often end up bored and on the streets.
“August is often the busiest month of the year for the Norwich Foodbank with a significant increase in families being referred to us. Parents in crisis often struggle along without going to a foodbank if they know their child is getting a good school meal but if the crisis happens in a school holiday then they are more likely to come to the foodbank.
“We are already in discussions with six groups that aim to run clubs this summer. We want to have even more but we need the whole local community to get involved and support this venture to make it happen. Even if a club only runs for a few days in the school holidays this can be a tremendous help to local families.” said Grant.
There are many ways groups and individuals can get involved:
  • Help with activities and cooking.
  • Help with food supplies.
  • Help with funds or fundraising.
  • Help in setting up a club
  • Volunteer to collect food from various donators such as supermarkets and allotments and take these to the FISH supported club (mileage allowance is paid)


We are very grateful to Norse who are giving us free transport to the Tesco Farm to Fork trails

140630 Norse NCS Logo


If you are interested or want more details, email:, ring 01603 251733 or visit us at our stand in the Forum on June 13 and 14 at Celebrate Norfolk.

Pictured above is a FISH-supported club in operation in Norwich over Easter and below a video report on a FISH club launched at Eternity Church in Norwich. Video courtesy of Channel 4.
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Published: 29/05/2014