Summer holidays are here

Sadly, we seem to have had more rain than the sun these past few days. The summer holidays are upon us though and families at times like this feel the strain more, as children off school need entertaining and most of all feeding. Suddenly you are having to produce three meals per day, in contrast to when they are at school and as a parent you are safe in the knowledge that your child is receiving at least one hot meal per day. Not all schools teach students how to manage a tight budget, how to cook using a few cheap ingredients, or even how to deal with the food that you might receive from a food bank. There are lots of places online where you can get some help and guidance though. Speak to somewhere like your local Citizen’s Advice to get advice about whether you might be claiming all you are entitled to. As for budget-friendly meals, you can find lots of them here on the Cooking on a Bootstrap website. Jack Monroe set this website up when she found herself having to cook meals from the contents of a bag of food from a food bank for her and her young son. Also, don’t forget places like your local libraries. They are free to join, you’ll just need some sort of proof of who you are, a council tax letter usually works well, or a driving licence. Your children can join for free too and take books out to read over the holidays. There are often free events during the summer or reading schemes that they can join. Don’t forget you can usually visit your local museum for free in the UK and they too are likely to have free events for children. There is a fund available for children from reception up to year 11 inclusive, known as the Holidays Activities and Food Programme 2023 funded by the Department of Education. Money is provided to local authorities to assist families of children who are normally entitled to free school meals, so make sure you are able to get anything you are entitled to claim.