Abbeycroft Leisure has further developed its ‘Festive Food’ initiative to support families in need during February half term.

160 food parcels, containing ingredients for five meals for a family of four, will be distributed, via seven collection centres, as shown below, in the February half-term. The box also includes recipe cards and links to online cooking tutorials, to help families prepare filling, tasty, and healthy meals.

The initiative has been made possible with funding from:-

  • Stowmarket, Sudbury and Eye (thanks to Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils)
  • Bury St Edmunds (thanks to Bury Town Council)
  • Brandon and Newmarket (thanks to Suffolk Community Foundation)
  • Mildenhall (thanks to SynTech Research)

In addition to this, a bird box making kit and other activities to encourage families to get outdoors will be provided.

This follows the success of their “Festive Food’ initiative, which provided, heat-at-home Christmas meals, ingredients and hampers to help support people spending Christmas day alone.

The half-term initiative aims to help ensure that no child goes hungry when free school meals are paused during the school holidays, and also seeks to promote getting fit while having fun. Families in need are identified by local schools and must be in receipt of free school meals, or facing hardship because of Covid, to be eligible.

A recipient of one of the parcels in December said:

“We are extremely grateful to Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, and Abbeycroft Leisure, for allowing our family to take part in the Explore Outdoor cooking project. We have been able to use the recipe cards to make some nice food and do it together as a family.”

Covid, and the subsequent lockdown restrictions, has required the programme to adapt accordingly. Previously, food parcels, cookery lessons and outdoor activities were provided in person at events which took place across Babergh, Mid Suffolk and West Suffolk last year. The councils funded 200 free child places in each district for these sessions, and it is hoped that this face-to-face programme will be repeated later this year, as soon as restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so.

Frank Carn-Pryor from Abbeycroft Leisure, who manages the Explore Outdoor programmes and initiatives said:

“We’re very grateful for the support to once again be able to set-up collection centres this half-term for the much-needed food parcels and activities.

“We know how important physical activity is for children and adults, together with good nutrition which doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Our recipes and videos, designed by local chef James Carn, offer some very simple, cheap, nutritious meals that will satisfy the whole family.”

The recipients of the parcels are being referred by schools and partner organisations, however, if you believe you are eligible, please contact us

Find all our online recipes and instructional videos here