County Durham community comes together to fight holiday hunger

A County Durham charity has joined forces with community groups and organisations across
Bishop Auckland to provide more than 6,000 free meals to young people and their families.
A report from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hunger estimates that up to 3m children
are at risk of going hungry during the school holidays.

To help combat this, a team of chefs and volunteers at regional charity The Auckland Project
have been preparing and cooking hundreds of healthy and fresh meals, to be distributed via
14 different holiday and youth clubs in the local area.

The project has run, in partnership with Incredible Edible Bishop Auckland, for the duration
of the school summer holidays and by the end of the break it is estimated that 6,085 meals
will have been distributed.

Food suppliers, including DeliFresh, Bidfood’s Gateshead depot and Darlington-based Acorn
Dairy, donated vegetables, fruit, milk, cream and cupboard staples to help create the meals
throughout the six-week period.

Durham County Councillors, Shirley Quinn, Christine Wilson, Tanya Tucker and Joy Allen
also supported the project, contributing from their Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action
Partnership neighbourhood budgets.

Volunteer drivers from The Auckland Project delivered the prepared meals to youth clubs,
holiday clubs, church groups and school-based transition days across the Bishop Auckland
area to be provided for free to children aged from 0 to 16 taking part in holiday activities.
A number of community organisations joined the initiative and distributed the free meals to
local communities via various holiday activity clubs. These were, holiday activity clubs at the
Bishop Auckland Fellowship of Christian Churches, Time for Toddlers, Auckland Youth and
Community Centre, Wear Valley Christian Church Summer School, Shildon Alive, St John’s
Church Summer Activity Club, St Anne’s Cinema Club, Incredible Edible Activity Day and
Feeding Families.

Meals were also given out at King James I Academy Summer School, the Summer School at
St. John’s School and Sixth Form Centre and Bishop Barrington School summer school.
And The Auckland Project’s Learning and Engagement Team established its own Holiday
Club which met weekly at Henknowle Community Centre for a range of fun and creative
activities. Parents attending the sessions were also invited to stay and enjoy the activities so
families could have a meal together.

The Auckland Project is a regeneration charity with an aim to create positive change in
Bishop Auckland. The Holiday Hunger project is one of a number of community-based
initiatives being run in the town. Other schemes include the Friendly Heritage Group, weekly
sessions combining local heritage with dementia friendly activities, and Blooming Bishop
Auckland, which supports horticultural and environmental projects in the local area.
For more information about The Auckland Project’s work in the community, visit And to stay up to date with The Auckland Project
follow The Auckland Project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.