Hayling Holiday Lunches

Although government help is periodically available to families who struggle to feed their children, mostly in the form of vouchers, there are some who do not qualify. Covid19 exacerbated the need, so we have continued delivering food parcels on Hayling Island throughout the school holidays of 2021. Numbers increased to 74 families (approximately 150 children), all identified by local schools as being in need of our assistance. In the summer holidays we made 5 weekly deliveries – each family receiving a bag of tinned/dried goods, a bag of fresh food and a bag of fruit.

 

In an effort to reduce the use of plastic bags we have had some made of strong material but more are needed. We are now fundraising and collecting for the Christmas holidays and the remainder of the school year 2022. We have a regular piece in the Herald each month to keep everyone informed of our needs but food donations can be left anytime in the collection box at the main Co-op on Hayling Island.

 

If you'd like to make a cash donation, please use the details below and reference "HHL": 

NatWest

Hayling Island Baptist Church

Acc: 86223828

Sort code: 53-50-33

For further information our email address is haylingholidaylunches@btinternet.com

Our story
HHL 2.png

In 2016/2017 there was an item on the radio about an organisation called Make Lunch which highlighted the problem that families face when their children receive free school meals in term time, but in the holidays have to be provided for with no additional financial help. The term ‘holiday hunger’ was used. A group of us in the church we were attending at that time believed that there was a similar need on Hayling Island and we wanted to do something to help. We knew there was a Food Bank on the Island and also that in our schools a large percentage of children were in receipt of free school meals so we began by finding out from them where there might be a gap and how we might partner in their efforts. 

Make Lunch (now part of TLG) provided training which enabled churches throughout the country to provide hot meals and activities for children who found themselves in challenging circumstances. However, we really felt that God was speaking to us, and leading us towards helping these families by delivering food directly to their homes. We wrote to all the schools on the island, asking them to pass on our letter offering groceries to any family in receipt of free meals, or that the school could identify as potentially benefitting from our project. In the summer of 2017 we helped 9 families; this grew in the next year to 25, then 36. Today we are delivering to 74 families!

When we began in 2017 there was no government help available and we have, over time, lobbied our MP and supported other campaigns to change this. Thankfully, when Marcus Rashford added his voice, minds were changed and vouchers were provided at Christmas and for half term. As we have such generous support in what we are doing from our churches and the wider community we decided to carry on with our deliveries alongside the voucher scheme, which is not always reliable. We try to support and involve our community further by buying our fruit from Hayling Fruiterers and using local volunteers to make the deliveries. We are most grateful to them all! 

Three of the original group who started the project now run it (David and Sarah Smith and Samantha White). All are in attendance at HIBC, and many of the congregation here assist with donations and deliveries. God has truly blessed us by growing the number of familes we are able to help and by providing food donations. These come from all the churches on Hayling and also through the wider community leaving donations in the boxes at Lidl, the Co-op, and the Lions Community shop. Our fundraising has seen generous donations from the Lions Club and the Businessmen’s Club, in addition to many from individuals and other organisations. These funds are used to purchase additional tinned goods and fresh food – bread, cheese, ham, yogurt,  and fruit. This allows us to bless each family with a bag of tinned and dry groceries in addition to a bag of fresh food once a week during the holidays. These are delivered with the help of a delivery team from this and other churches.

For further information email us at 

haylingholidaylunches@btinternet.com

Donations can be made to:

NatWest

Hayling Island Baptist Church

Acc: 86223828

Sort code: 53-50-33

Reference: HHL

Sam, David and Sarah with the food parcels awaiting delivery from the hall space offered by the United Reformed Church.

David and Sarah receiving a donation from Hayling College for the Christmas 2021 delivery. 

thumbnail_20201208_134943.jpg