We have food available for families in need during school holidays. Any family in need of urgent food supplies should contact our Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275 and select Option 1.
We want to make sure no child or adult in Somerset goes hungry. Our aim is to meet the immediate need for food and work with families to address their needs. This is because, if a child is hungry there are usually other issues we would want to help with – for example, financial, housing, mental health and wellbeing, employment and skills.
Throughout the pandemic our Coronavirus Helpline has been providing information, advice and support to families. It uses the same community approach as Adults Services. And it has now extended the Village Agent offer to families so that they can get support to stay as independent as possible. This has helped many families in Somerset to become more resilient. Part of this has been to ensure families have access to nutritious meals, and this remains a focus of our work.
In September we were allocated £572,000 by central government for food provision. Over the last 2 months we have been working with District Councils, Somerset CCG, Spark Somerset, Somerset Community Foundation and Community Council for Somerset as part of the Vulnerable People and Community Resilience cell to ensure that we have food available to support people in need.
So far, we have allocated £150,000 of the grant to produce frozen meals, secure food from Fareshare and support communities to provide fresh goods. This food is for anyone in need in Somerset over the winter and will also be used to support families during school holidays.
The rest of the grant is being used to ensure we have solutions in place to address underlying issues, support our foodbanks, build community pantries and develop community schemes. It has also been agreed to set aside a further £125,000 in case additional funds are required to ensure families are fed this winter.
Support available to help families access food during school holidays
- We have food available for any family in need during school holidays. Any family in need of urgent food supplies should contact our Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275 and select Option 1.
- The Help Out when Schools Out website provides links to local businesses and charities across the county and neighbouring counties, offering free food to families. Families can seek support directly from these businesses and groups using the website (contact details are provided on the website).
- The national website www.kidsmealsmap.co.uk can provide meal support to families. It also gives opportunities for businesses and groups to offer free food.
- Families who phone the Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275 will also be supported by Village Agents. They have access to food donated by the community, frozen meals we have bought and some funds to give emergency support if needed. Village Agents can also help families access online shopping slots if they are finding it difficult to get to the shops
- The Taunton Coronavirus Community Help Group’s Facebook page provides more information and support – available in Taunton and the wider Somerset area.
Support for children who are asked to self-isolate from schools
During the school term all ‘free school meals children’ were entitled to have meals provided at home by their school.
Offers of support and donations
Businesses or groups offering food and who want to donate can register to do this on the Help Out When Schools Out website
If you would like to make a financial donation please contact the Community Council for Somerset who will ensure that the money is used on direct food support for families. The money will be used to buy fresh local produce.
If you can’t find the help you need on this webpage, please phone the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275