Thousands of children had to be fed by a Tayside charity during the summer in a bid to tackle holiday hunger.
Almost 1,400 youngsters in Tayside in Fife were given food by FareShare charity every week of the summer holidays and is is estimated more than 13,000 meals were dished out in all.
The service, which gives surplus foods to holiday clubs for vulnerable children, was welcomed as many families rely on free school meals which are not available during the summer, but there is also anger that it is necessary.
Tina McRorie of Crieff Community Foodbank said: “There should be enough money to go round for people to afford food.
“No-one should have to go hungry in this day and age.”
FareShare Tayside and Fife provided surplus food to 11 holiday projects in Dundee, Perth and the surrounding areas. The charity delivered more than 13,000 meals to children at risk of hunger over the six-week school break.
It estimates that, through its work, at least 1,389 children each week had accessed meals during the summer.
Chris Doig, manager at FareShare, said: “For parents of children who normally receive free school meals, the summer can be a really difficult time, leaving many families struggling to provide food.”
This comes as part of FareShare’s ActiveAte campaign which aims to support children most at risk of hunger during the holidays, when they no longer have access to their free school meals.
Mr Doig said: “ActiveAte is our campaign to demonstrate the glaring need for enhanced food provision in our communities over the summer and address the issue across the region.”
The children were also provided with activities such as cooking lessons, sport and drama. This was to further allow them to be active during their school holidays.
Mr Doig added: “With the support of our food partners, we’re grateful we were able to provide more support to frontline holiday projects than before.”
Letham Summer Lunch Club was one of the projects supported by FareShare.
Councillor John Rebbeck of Perth City North said: “I commend the great work that the charity has done in the area.
“For children, it’s not only about being fed, but it’s also about having some structure of the day.”
He added that Letham Primary school have worked hard alongside the charity to help provide for the children who need it most.
Letham Summer Lunch Club community link worker, Chris Forber said: “Over the summer holiday in Perth we were able to provide over a thousand meals to families in the Letham area.
“We provided a variety of activities each day and had lunch in between sessions.
“The feedback from families was very positive and highlighted that food for many was an important part of coming along.”
Other charities that receive food from FareShare provide meals to a wide range of areas including domestic violence refuges, homeless shelters and day clubs for older people.
More information on FareShare’s work can be found on their website.