Over half a million young Londoners struggle for food during the holidays. Kitchen Social gives children a safe place to go during the holidays where they can socialise and get a healthy meal. It’s about much more than just food. It looks at general mental and physical well-being and social integration. Additional benefits created by Kitchen Social include learning about healthy eating, skills development, social inclusion, identification of children and young people in need and the development of staff, volunteers and local capacity.
Kitchen Social was piloted during the summer of 2016 and developed on the back of our 2015 holiday breakfast clubs pilot. The success of the breakfast clubs highlighted the lack of provision during the holiday periods, leaving children and young people vulnerable to food insecurity. This has led us, in partnership with the Greater London Authority, to initiate a second pilot looking at the viability of holiday provision with a focus on providing healthy balanced meals that adhere as closely as possible to the current term time food school standards.
Kitchen Social is now one of many such programmes underway across the UK. We have worked with the Innocent Foundation, the Kellogg’s Foundation, Make Lunch and 14 holiday provision clubs across six London Local Authorities.
“I like coming to this club because it keeps me active. I like cooking and going outside to play football with my friends. If I wasn’t here, I’d be at home watching TV.”
Megan, 12 years old, Acton
“Kitchen Social will bring together community groups, boroughs, businesses, foundations, charities and individuals to ensure the city’s young people do not go hungry or feel alone over the school holidays. Crucially, it will also put mental and physical well-being and social integration at the heart of its work, ensuring young Londoners are equipped with the skills and good health they need to get ahead.”
Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder
“I would want to stay forever but I can’t because my mum said we have to spend time at home as well.”
8 year old from Brent