Monkwick Munch Club, which provides a free hot lunch for children and their families during school holidays, will receive £3,500 funding from Active Essex and Livewell Colchester, and is being supported by Colchester Borough Council.
The money will support the running of Monkwick Munch Club during the summer holidays to provide a free hot lunch, along with some physical activity, during each session.
Councillor Michael Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to support the Monkwick Munch Club initiative with this Livewell funding. The reality is that the school summer holidays can be a difficult time for some young people in our town. I am sure that these free hot meals, alongside the play and sports activities will have a positive impact on low-income households.”
The Munch Club helps combat hunger during school holidays by providing a free hot lunch to all children and their families, who currently receive free school dinners or are on a low income. The Munch Club is held at the Fifth Colchester Scout Hall in Queen Elizabeth Way, from 11.15am to 1pm, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with food parcels being given for the Tuesday and Thursday.
Volunteers at the Munch Club served 340 hot meals during the two-week Easter 2019 school holidays to struggling families in Colchester and founders, Maureen Powell and Councillor Dave Harris, are now preparing for the summer break.
Maureen Powell, co-founder of Monkwick Munch Club, said: “My heartfelt thanks to Active Essex and Livewell for this very generous donation, which will enable us to provide free hot meals, along with physical activity, to children and their families during the summer holidays.
“I am also very proud and pleased to announce Greenstead and Old Heath Munch Clubs have just been launched. Booking is a priority as space is very limited and you can book via email, phone or follow the Facebook page for your area.
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported the Munch Clubs since this journey began, allowing us to bring smiles, friendship, full tummies and laughter to so many.”
The meals are free, and the Munch Club relies on food donations from various individuals, community groups and businesses across Colchester, including Colchester Foodbank. If anyone would like to donate fresh, canned or dry produce, please contact Maureen Powell at email@example.com or call 07974 113341.
Louise Voyce, from The Active Essex Foundation, added: “We are really pleased to have been able to support the development of the Monkwick Munch Club summer holiday programme. It is great to see such a wide range of partners working together across the system to tackle such an important issue.
“Physical activity and sport is proven to improve concentration, build self-esteem and improve physical health, so this project will mean that children return to education feeling mentally and physically ready to start the new term.”
To find out more please contact Maureen Powell on the details above or through the ‘Monkwick Munch Club’ page on Facebook.