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Salvation Army food.JPG
World News

Salvation Army battles child poverty with free meals during summer holidays

by Sophie Drew

The Salvation Army is placing itself on the frontline in the battle against child poverty after seeing 'unprecedented demand' for support from worried parents. 

Teachers, health visitors and GPs have started to refer hungry children to the Christian organisation.

From their 600 UK locations, the Salvation Army is providing cooked meals and essential food parcels throughout the summer holidays. 

Dean Pallant, the organisation's Lieutenant Colonel, told Premier: "It's been a really demanding few years.

"Right now, it's people who we wouldn't expect to come to the Salvation Army. 

"They'll often say 'I never thought I would need to come to you.

"We're just delighted that people do feel that they can come to us.

"The government have done an extraordinary amount in the last two years, there's been huge billions of pounds spent, so we can't just always say 'government, give us more money.'

"We have to look at targeting and identifying those people. 

"We've got that opportunity to reach out to people and to help them."

A Government spokesperson said: "The Holiday Activities and Food programme offers enriching activities and healthy meals to disadvantaged children during the school holidays, providing opportunities for those who may otherwise not benefit from similar local clubs. 

"We have provided wider welfare support for families in need through the Household Support Fund, which helps vulnerable families with essentials such as food and utility bills. To address rising costs, we are providing over £37 billion, targeted to help households with the greatest need."

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