This summer our community champions are supporting local charities and good causes across the country to help more children stay healthy and active during the holidays.
The initiative is part of the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change campaign – we're investing £20 million over the next three years to support FareShare and the Trussell Trust in tackling food poverty.
The Healthy Holiday Fund activity, running throughout the summer holidays and the October half-term break, follows research from the Trussell Trust showing that food bank referrals rise steeply in the school holidays, as children lose access to their free school meals and some families struggle to manage costs.
The Asda Foundation is donating grants of up to £1,000 to help charities run more activities for children over the holidays, as well as providing nourishing meals for children who may otherwise not be eating properly.
Our community champions have been helping the groups apply for the grants, as well as lending a hand by volunteering at the holiday clubs.
One of our community champions who's helping out this summer is Amanda Bell from our Kilmarnock store, pictured above with store manager George McFarlane presenting a cheque for £1,000 to Centrestage, a charity spending the summer touring the town in a bus to host activities for children, as well as providing them with a meal.
Amanda said: "This is such an important cause and I know that the donation from the Asda Foundation makes a big difference to how they're abe to help out in the local community.
"The work they do in the local community to keep children occupied and to ensure that the kids who might benefit from a free school meal during term time still get something to eat during the holidays is absolutely fantastic."
Asda Foundation manager Emily Harrison said: "We're delighted to be able to support a number of brilliant local charities across the country this summer. We know that families can find it difficult to entertain children over the holidays and sometimes find the increased cost of catering for their children a challenge, so we hope that our Healthy Holiday Fund, by enabling local charities to hold more children's events, can ease some of this pressure."
Samantha Stapley, Director of Operations at The Trussell Trust said: "Every summer we see an increase in the number of emergency food supplies going to children from foodbanks in our network. If we want to change this and move towards a future where no one needs a foodbank, we need to address the underlying structural issues that leave people facing hunger.
"That’s why we’re pleased the Fight Hunger Create Change partnership will give support for foodbanks helping people on the ground right now, whilst at the same time supporting us to undertake the biggest research project yet into UK hunger, so we can find solutions that would see no one needing a foodbank in the first place."
Here are just a few of the schemes our community champions are supporting this summer:
Elizabeth Arbuckle, the community champion at our Toryglen store, presented a cheque for £1,000 to Ardenglen Social Committee. She said: "Their initiative aims to provide children in our local area access to activities and healthy meals during the summer holidays and October half term – what a great way to support our community groups!"
Kate Box from our Cwmbran store (pictured above) presented a cheque for £1,000 to Cwmbran Centre for Young People, along with activity packs to keep the children entertained.
Elizabeth Cotterill from our Warrington store helped the Friends of Meadowside with their grant application to the Asda Foundation for their packed lunch project, providing 750 children in the town with a free packed lunch three days a week.
Our Plymouth store's community champion Brian Kidd presented a cheque for £1,000 to Honicknowle Community Centre to help provide free activities and meals for children attending during the school break.
Brian is helping out during the holidays and said: "This donation means so much and I know it's going to make a huge difference."
And our Sutton store's community champion Tracey Jacques presented a cheque for £568 to Sutton Carers Centre to provide food for young carers at their holiday clubs this month.
Further Healthy Holiday Fund grants will be available for the October half-term holiday. To find out more, contact the community champion at your nearest store.