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Acton charity, A.P.P.L.E feeds vulnerable kids during the school holidays

City Harvest food recipient, A.P.P.L.E (Acton Play Projects & Leisure Events) sees demand for free food soar amidst cost-of-living crisis, especially during school holidays.

The cost-of-living crisis has put extra pressure on this Acton Park youth centre, as more families emerge in need of support through vital free food provision, especially those depending on free school meals during term-time. If some children didn’t go to A.P.P.L.E during the school holidays, they wouldn’t eat.

We’re noticing that during the holidays, a lot of the children whose families collect food from us, they’re kind of depending on us for their meals while they’re away from school. So, they’ll come in, and the first they do when they get here is they’ll ask us ‘will lunch be served?’, so it obviously shows the necessity for them.

About A.P.P.L.E

We are A.P.P.L.E, we’re a children and youth centre based in Acton Park. We provide cooking activities, arts, sports, all kinds of trips and things like that for kids in the community. Everything is free. And then we also run a food bank.

Initially, when we started, we had a couple of families that were coming that needed help. But we’ve noticed over the last couple of months that’s really increasing. We’ve got families we’ve never seen before coming and asking if they can take some food home, and asking how we can help them. So, we’ve definitely seen an increase in need.

Even in this half term in comparison to the previous, and the summer holiday, we’ve noticed a big increase in need. Before, we’d have children come in and they’d just sort of hang out with us, and eventually they’d eat. But now, we have kids come in and as soon as they get here they’re asking if lunch will be served. We’re serving everyone lunch and we’re finding kids are still hungry and so we’re struggling to keep up with it. So, we’ve noticed its made a massive increase in demand and in need.

Abigail Leito, Project Worker, A.P.P.L.E

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