Volunteers pack 4,500 family meal kits at Cheltenham racecourse

Wiggley Worm

Stroud-based charity The Wiggly Worm is working with Gloucestershire County Council to send out around 4,500 meal kits for families to cook at home over the Easter holidays.

The planning and logistics have been supported by The Jockey Club, Cheltenham and Creed Foodservice, and a team of volunteers who will be getting the meal kits ready to go out at the beginning of the holidays to over 20 distribution centres around Gloucestershire.

The scheme is part of the Department of Education funded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme 2021 set up to ensure that all children have access to nutritious food as well as the opportunity to take part in activities during the school holidays. The initiative is more important than ever, particularly for families who have been affected by increased costs and reduced incomes during these periods.

Current COVID restrictions have meant carefully rethinking how to run activities safely for the Easter holidays.

Joanna Scott, operations manager of the Wiggly Worm, said: “If we can’t bring young people to the activities we’ll take the activities to them. Each meal kit going out has Wiggly Worm recipe cards and ingredients for four family meals – that’s 18,000 meals. There’s also a whole range of food-related activities and Wiggly’s online cook-along videos for families to cook together. It’s a mammoth task but we’re lucky enough to have fantastic support from local businesses and willing volunteers. It’s a national initiative but we have superb local support in Gloucestershire.”

Ian Renton, Director of Jockey Club West Region, said; “We are delighted that the racecourse has been able to play a small part in this wonderful initiative. I’d like to thank the organisers at Wiggly Worm, the volunteers and everyone else for all the work they are doing for such a good cause.”

Chris Creed, Chief Executive, Creed Foodservice said; “we are extremely proud to be a part of such a fantastic initiative and the work that Wiggly Worm have done to bring this programme to life. Health and wellbeing has never been more important and this programme will play a vital role in ensuring that doesn’t stop during school holidays. A big thank you to everyone involved and we look forward to continuing this work in the future.’

The HAF programme has a range of aims to encourage 5-16 year olds to eat more healthily and be more active over the school holidays, as well as engaging and enriching activities which help development of resilience, character and wellbeing. The Wiggly Worm is wholeheartedly committed to providing activities, face-to-face or online, to fulfil these aims throughout the 2021 school holidays.