Walsall FC Community Programme provided 1102 hot, nutritious meals to local children, as part of the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme.
Walsall FCCP also handed out 460 food recipe packs to participants in the six weeks holidays, across courses at the Banks’s Stadium and HAF activities delivered with St Giles C of E Primary School.
The HAF provision, funded by Walsall Council throughout the summer holidays, is part of a nationwide effort to tackle to the ‘holiday experience gap’ felt by disadvantaged children during the school holidays.
Following a campaign championed by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, government funding was made available. WFCCP’s eligible participants received a hot healthy meal for lunch every day, recipe packs at the end of each week, and experienced a day of football on the Soccer Schools.
Councillor Tim Wilson, cabinet member for children’s at Walsall Council, said: “The partnership with Walsall FC Community Programme in the delivery of our Summer Holiday Activity and Food programme has been fantastic.
“We received lots of really positive feedback from the children who have attended the five weeks of Soccer Schools.
“The club provided great opportunities for children across the borough to be healthy, stay connected and learn new skills this summer.”
With some extra food packs available, Community Programme staff were also able to donate 150 parcels to local homeless centres and food banks to help those in need.
WFCCP’s summer delivery saw over 1700 participant attendances, and 330 total hours of activities, with courses running at the Banks’s Stadium, St Giles C of E Primary and Whetstone Field Primary School.
Martin Manley, Community Manager for Engagement, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has made the Holiday Activity and Food provision such a success, from Walsall Council and Walsall Right 4 Children for funding the activities, to Midcounties Co-op for providing the recipe packs and Walsall FC for producing the hot lunch meals.
“It has been great to engage with our School Partners at St Giles and Whetstone Field too this summer, helping to offer Soccer Schools and Multi-Sport courses in different areas of the borough.
“There is a clear need for the HAF provision and we are looking forward to offering more holiday activities like this in the future.”