Back in June, Rachel Warwick watched a TV documentary called Poor Kids and it had a profound effect on her.
She explains: 'Three children from across the UK tell us what life is like for the 3.5 million children who live below the poverty line in this country. As you'd expect from kids, they do tell it like it is and the result is eye-opening, moving and challenging. Sam (11) from Leicester, Paige (8) from Glasgow and Courtney (7) from Bradford, share their feelings about the situations they live in as well as the facts. Personally I found it extremely challenging and I was left with a real sense that I had to do something. But poverty is a huge and multifaceted problem, and 3.5 million children is a fairly overwhelming number. After much discussing, thinking and pondering, Lunch was born.
Lunch is a new project which aims to see churches and other community groups providing meals during the school holidays for the children in their area who are registered for free meals at school in term time. This was an issue highlighted in the programme, that other than these meals the children often don't eat much else and the 6 week summer holiday places considerable extra pressure on parents who have to find additional money to feed their kids.'
Poor Kids is showing again on BBC3 tonight at 9pm and will be available on iplayer for a week or so afterwards. There's more information about the documentary on the BBC website, including a clip of Courtney talking about her expectations for her future. There's also an article about the programme on the Guardian website with another clip.
Lunch are running pilot projects in Luton and Corby this year. You can read more on the Make Lunch website, families can sign up on the Get Lunch website and you can give to the project through the Grassroots website which will enable them to claim giftaid. (Grassroots employs Rachel to run Orison prayer spaces in schools.) £1 will provide a meal for one child for one day; £30 will feed a child five days a week for the summer holidays. Leave a note with your donation to say what it's for. We look forward to hearing from Rachel about how it goes this summer and wish her and her team all the best.