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Food Poverty

An increasing number of households up and down the country are faced with a daily struggle to make ends meet. Testimonies abound of parents skipping meals so their children can have enough to eat.

In the domain of food security, Together Southwark supports churches and their community partners working together to alleviate holiday hunger, build resilience of families by integrating signposting in our projects and encouraging partnerships to help address some of the root causes of food insecurity, wherever possible.


Holiday Provision - Lunchbox Library

This is a partnership with local churches, schools, community groups and voluntary organisations in collaboration with local authorities to assist an increasing number of families who are struggling to make ends meet during school holidays, particularly the long summer holidays.

Summer is often seen as a time of long lazy days of fun filled activities. For parents and carers on low income summer holidays mean pressure on already overstretched budgets to be able to put an additional meal to the table.

The experience is also isolating. Some children can find themselves isolated, away from school friends and with nowhere to go. Paying for bus fares to take children to and from libraries might no longer be a priority in the balancing act of managing a tight budget. Visiting summer fairs is out if there is no money to pay for the children to join in fun activities.

Lunchbox Library hubs provide a safe environment offering children aged between 5 to 13 years old a warm, nutritious and tasty meal, a wide range of fun activities and reading for pleasure with the children, which helps prevent the trend for their reading skills to dip over the holidays. The hubs have a good community atmosphere which helps children and accompanying adults learn budget recipes and socialise. That has also allowed the teams to sign-post accompanying adults for additional support.

We always look forward to welcoming volunteers to help at holiday hubs. Before you say to yourself that you have no skill to offer, please do contact us. There will be no need to commit to the entire length of the summer, in fact we would love people to give the time they can commit to even if it is as little as a few hours a week.

Member of the Lambeth Holiday Provision Steering Group

Together Southwark facilitates meetings of the Steering Group and helps coordinate interventions to foster collaboration for a more coordinated approach to holiday provision for children who need it the most. This partnership has resulted in a joint bid and four successful holiday provision schemes which are run on four sites since 2018.

Member of Southwark Food Action Alliance

The JV has made among its top priorities the contribution to work that helps build the resilience of families beyond school holiday provision. Thus, being part of the SFAA has been one of the ways to do so. The consortium is facilitated by the Public Health Division of Southwark Council. The JV has contributed to strategic work on food security matters with other member organisations of the SFAA. That work includes a three-year plan titled Fairer Food Southwark: A Borough-wide Action Plan to Increase Household Food Security, which you can find here.