PARENTS are prepared to make sacrifices for the sake of their children.

When it comes to feeding her family, one Bradford mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, would rather go without so she can provide for her three children.

She talks of her daily struggles, of sacrificing food just to keep the family home warm and her children fed.

"I haven't to eat to make sure they eat every single day and they get three meals a day," she explained.

She survives making sandwiches with their left-overs and is used to making excuses not to eat just to save the food for her brood, but she fears her children are beginning to notice she is going without.

"The last six week holidays I got a food bag and my lad said 'please will you eat Mum?'

"They are picking up on it now. It's not fair on them to take that pressure on."

The summer holidays are a testing time too and exacerbate what is already a financially challenging situation.

She talks of her sadness when her children's classmates talk about trips to the States when they can't even afford a trip to Scarborough.

"School holidays are horrible. They want to go to places like the Pleasure Beach but that is like a week's shopping money."

"I feel awful because I know we can't go on holiday. What are my children going to talk about when they go back to school?"

As well as her voluntary work the woman works but is paid a minimum wage. By the time she has covered the cost of running the family home she says she has little left and is regularly living hand to mouth just to survive.

She wants the Government to have more understanding and would also like to see a reduction in food prices and activity costs during the summer holidays.

"It's ridiculous the money you spend on food. Council Tax, Water, all bills are going up but we're not getting any more money and it's just not people on benefits, it's people working as well.

"We are already poor - they don't need to take any more off us."

Bradford has already seen an increase in demand for its food banks. Cathy Henwood, development worker for Feeding Bradford, which along with other organisations including Bradford Council, NHS, Fit and Fed, Gateway Community Centre, Inn Churches, Fareshare, Bradford North Foodbank and local education and activity providers, is looking at ways to bridge the city's holiday hunger gap, explains one of the city's food banks has gone from distributing 100 to 1,000 parcels monthly.

She believes the increase is due to sanctions; general austerity and zero-hours working contracts.

Lindsay Graham, Child Food Poverty Policy Adviser, is all too aware of the struggles families up and down the country and beyond face.

For 20 years Lindsay has made it her mission to tackle this issue and part of that involves encouraging organisations to work together - hence her visit to Bradford.

Coincidentally, the venue for this networking event, hosted by Feeding Bradford - a network of organisations, groups and individuals who are concerned about the levels of food poverty locally, took place within the Margaret McMillan Tower - the former City Library building named after the pioneer of school meals.

Lindsay spoke about the impact similar work has had in other parts of the UK and internationally and encouraged the development of a good local partnership involving local children having their say.

Such is her passion to tackle food poverty and holiday hunger, Lindsay has been lobbying politicians to raise the profile of this important issue.

The School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill 2017-19 - requiring local authorities to facilitate the delivery of programmes providing free meals and activities to children during school holidays - began its second reading in January and is due to resume in April.

"It is still under debate but we need a national policy," says Lindsay.

"We need a framework, national guidance, resources, schools need to open their doors without fear of costs and using premises."

She says they also need people in areas where this is an issue to help make a difference. "It will make a difference to children growing up and I think we are giving children and families a much brighter future."

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