Flintshire’s further commitment to food poverty this summer
Flintshire County Council introduces WLGA’s “SHEP” for the first time this year.
The school holiday enrichment programme “SHEP” is a Welsh Local Government Association initiative which has been running since 2016 and is being introduced in Flintshire this year. It is a school-based programme that provides healthy meals, food and nutrition education, physical activity and enrichment sessions to children in areas of social deprivation during the summer holidays.
‘Food and Fun’ is the brand used to promote the clubs to children and families.
The programme runs four days a week for the first three weeks of the holidays at two sites – Ysgol Treffynnon in Holywell and St David’s High School in Saltney. It is aimed at year 6 pupils from the feeder primary schools and existing year 7s at the high schools. There are 40 places at each site and take up has been extremely positive.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“It’s a sad state of affairs that in the 21st century, children go hungry during school holidays as families struggle to afford or access food that provides a healthy diet. During term time they can take advantage of breakfast clubs and free school meals, but as food poverty is a growing issue in Wales, schemes such as this one really make a difference – not only to provide children with two healthy meals a day, but to encourage them to be more active, make new friends and engage more with school.
“Once they heard about the scheme, many local suppliers provided free produce for the scheme - which is amazing! Our aim next year is to run “Food and Fun” in a further two sites.”
A typical day runs from 9am to 1pm and includes breakfast, fun learning activities, physical activities and sports sessions and ends with lunch.
Councillor Roberts continued:
“Parents are invited to join their children for lunch each Thursday that the scheme is running. Involving the whole family in this way can help improve parents’ health and wellbeing, helps them meet the cost of school holidays and encourages them to learn new skills. We can also offer them help to signpost them to other services which could support them.”