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The programme provided children and their families with access to free and nutritious meals through family hampers, ingredients boxes and live cooking sessions, which encouraged families to come together to learn new recipes and improve access to nutritious diets. The food provided was all donated or supplied by industry partners including Nestle, Ocado and Everton in the Community, amongst others.
As part of the programme’s promotion of exercise and health and wellbeing, the scheme included guest appearances from Great Britain’s double gold Olympic champion Daley Thompson and Everton footballer Anthony Gordon, who set interactive sporting challenges for children and their families. This was just one of the ways the programme sought to get participants more active, with sessions running throughout the week with everything from live exercise classes, daily physical activity challenges, to yoga and mindfulness. There were also classes which promoted mental health awareness and the positive health impact of getting good sleep.
Meanwhile, with many of us unable to celebrate Halloween in the usual fashion this year, the programme also gave children a chance to honour the day, with pumpkin carving and pumpkin cooking classes, as well as a spooky-themed yoga session.
The scheme provided a helping hand to families in the community who needed it most, and came at a critical time, with data recently released by the Food Foundation showing that 6.3% of children were worried about going hungry during October half term.
It also built on the success of Community Shop’s summer Healthy Holidays programme, which received widespread praise from Public Health England and local authority partners for its positive impact. To aid the programme, Community Shop worked with Everton in the Community, Onward Homes and Riverside, who similarly have a wealth of experience in delivering meaningful impact and social change to local communities.
Ahead of the Christmas holidays, Community Shop is calling on food businesses across the Liverpool region and beyond to do “their bit” to help fight holiday hunger by donating surplus stock which will help bolster Community Shop’s impact in the local community. They are encouraged to get in contact with the Community Shop team by calling 0800 211 84 84.
“We’re really pleased with the success of our Healthy Holidays programme, which provided a real lifeline to many families across the communities we serve. We are committed to tackling food insecurity and this Programme will have a lasting impact for participating families, helping them to access affordable nutritious food and inspiring them to embed healthy eating and lifestyle patterns into their daily routines.
“Our work at Community Shop is all about delivering positive social impact and helping to create lasting change and so it’s great to know that we are making a real difference. We are also pleased to have been able to collaborate with so many our fantastic partner organisations to deliver this meaningful impact to children across the country, and we would encourage any food businesses looking to do something positive with their surplus stock to get in touch.”
Sarah Atherton, Neighbourhood Manager at Everton Football Club said:
“Healthy Holidays has made a huge difference to the families within our Blue Mile over the October Half Term. They have provided families with vital food support as well as several educational aspects and exercise links too. The new Community Shop store is located within our Blue Mile and it is vital for the store to support our local neighbours during these unprecedented times. Healthy Holidays did just that and over 22 families accessed support. It was a great week and we look forward to the next.”
“We are proud supporters of Community Shop and have been able to promote ‘Healthy Holidays’ to customers in need throughout North Liverpool and Halton. We know that families struggle with healthy food provision and that this is exacerbated during school holidays, this project has helped to ease hunger and stress for so many. Community Shop have invited families to access food packages with no obligation to take part in the online resources on offer although I know many will have enjoyed these.”
“Being involved with Healthy Holidays has been a really rewarding project for Onward, we have been able to assist in the provision of much needed assistance combined with a range of fun activities that make a positive difference to the communities we serve. Food poverty is one of the major issues facing the many of the people within our communities and we share in the aim of Community Shop in addressing this through enabling people to access a high quality, sustainable solution to some of the issues they face.
“We have had fantastic feedback from participants and partner organisations involved and we will continue to support projects such as this for the benefit of the people within our communities and our society as a whole.”
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