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TLG: feeding vulnerable families

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TLG: feeding vulnerable families

In 2019, Benefact Trust awarded Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) over £177,000 to grow its network of Make Lunch Clubs across the UK. The holiday food and activity clubs are set up in churches to support struggling children and their families who would otherwise go hungry.
TLG is a Christian charity that helps churches to bring hope and a future to struggling children. From school exclusion, to poverty and holiday hunger, there are children across the UK facing some of the toughest starts in life. Make Lunch Clubs are just one of the initiatives aimed at transforming lives for good.
With the support of our three-year grant, TLG hoped to double its impact and launch 104 new Make Lunch Clubs in the most disadvantaged areas by 2022. However, Covid-19 had other plans…
Making changes for the good

In 2020, the pandemic hit and TLG pivoted its Make Lunch provision to provide urgent support to vulnerable families struggling to provide food. TLG supported churches across the UK to deliver ‘Boxes of Hope’ which contained food and household essentials to the most in need. This has been hugely successful, with 292 churches getting involved - 222 of them weren’t existing Make Lunch partners. This demonstrates the huge impact and reach of the pivot to Boxes of Hope during the pandemic.
The facts and figures

Despite the change in direction to support people through Covid, TLG has still managed to launch 37 more Make Lunch Clubs alongside Boxes of Hope.
Through both initiatives, TLG has recruited and trained over 1,000 church-based volunteers to tackle food insecurity.
But most significantly, TLG has managed to support 28,533 children who would have otherwise gone hungry during the school holidays, as well as benefitting a further 18,538 parents. An astonishing impact in comparison to the original target of 8,000 children and 2,000 parents/carers. This would have never been possible without the support provided by the Boxes of Hope initiative. 
Both Make Lunch and Boxes of Hope address the issue of food insecurity in the long-term in multiple ways. By offering enriching activities and the opportunity for families to socialise and access pastoral support, families are able to feel some relief from their worries, know that their children are not missing out, connect with others experiencing the same challenges and be signposted to other local help such as job clubs, debt centres and children’s activity groups. 
The real life impact

“That doorstep chat and feeling of community was so key. The burden of managing a tight budget with two children was a struggle, but when that parcel would arrive I’d find what I’d been needing – and a friendly face to speak to knowing that we weren’t, and still aren’t, alone.”Emma, receiving Boxes of Hope, Christchurch, Clevedon
“I would like to give thanks especially to this church and all the selfless genuine members who have helped me and my family with lunches in the holidays, unlimited support and also supporting the foodbank, which has relieved a little pressure so that I can take the children somewhere. Thank you.”A mum, Cleveleys Baptist Church, Thornton-Cleveleys

Sadly, this is not the end for food poverty. As the UK experiences the worsening Cost of Living Crisis, many more families will be forced to make the devastating choice between having enough to eat and heating their home. TLG’s response is to make new Make Lunch partnerships more accessible for churches and volunteers and therefore accelerate growth during this time of great need. Further Benefact Trust funding will be supporting TLG’s latest crisis response.
If you are running a similar project or would like the find out more about Benefact Trust’s grants programmes, visit: https://benefacttrust.co.uk/which-grant-is-for-me/
woman cooking in church kitchen
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