Opportunities and challenges arising from holiday clubs tackling children’s hunger in the UK: Pilot club leader perspectives
journal contributionposted on 2019-06-13, 13:31 authored by Clare HolleyClare Holley, Carolynne MasonCarolynne Mason, Emma HaycraftEmma Haycraft
With the school holidays being recognised as a high-risk time for children to experience food insecurity, there is a growing prevalence of school holiday initiatives that include free food. However, information is lacking into what constitutes effective practice in their delivery, and how this can be evaluated. This paper provides insight from individuals who implemented a pilot of a national project which provided free food for children at UK community summer holiday sports clubs in 2016. Focus groups were conducted with all 15 leaders of the holiday clubs that participated in the pilot to understand: (1) what opportunities are provided by community holiday sports clubs which include free food; (2) what challenges arose as a result of offering free food within a broader community holiday club sports offer. Results indicate that offering free food at such clubs creates multiple opportunities for attending children, including: experiencing social interactions around food; enhancing food experiences and food confidence; and promoting positive behaviour. However, free food provision is associated with challenges including resource constraints and tensions around project aims. Future work should determine whether holiday clubs can positively impact children’s wellbeing and healthy eating.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences