MORE than 1,000 recipe kits will be distributed to families struggling to feed their children over the school holidays, writes Laurie Churchman.

The paper bags, which include ingredients and cooking instructions, will be sent out every week over the summer holidays to those in need.

The coronavirus crisis has hit the economy hard and on Wednesday it was announced the country has officially plunged into recession.

The In The Bag kits are funded by the Sussex Cricket Foundation and have been organised by the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, which has co-ordinated the city’s emergency food response during the pandemic.

Families set to receive the kits have been identified through the city’s Emergency Food Network.

Many people have been turning to food banks for support and the recipes have been chosen to complement ingredients households often receive from them.

They will all contain fruit and vegetables, and the bags come with suggestions for ways to help the food go further.

The bags will be made up and the ingredients weighed out by a team of volunteers.

As well as providing sorely needed food, the recipe kits are designed to provide a fun family activity over the school holidays.

Vic Borrill, director of the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, said “it is a vital time for this initiative.

“During lockdown we provided 3,200 households with emergency food parcels in just one week. A shocking 1,300 of those included children.

“The financial impact of Covid-19 is an ongoing challenge.”

Earlier this year, The Argus spoke with Reverend Steve Tennant, a vicar at St Cuthman’s Church, which hosts the Whitehawk Foodbank.

Before the pandemic it supported 30 people a week but by April, it was providing 120 emergency packages.

Reverend Tennant said: “A lot of people in Whitehawk work at Brighton Marina so they’ve been hit hard, losing their job or being furloughed.

“The other challenge is for those who have kids at home now who otherwise would have got free school meals. The Government has done some good stuff on that but it’s still a challenge of making things stretch for the whole family. Never before have we seen such a clear need for support.”

The funding from the Sussex Cricket Foundation was raised after a Covid-19 working group identified ways to support the community amid the pandemic – and the foundation netted £10,000 at a fundraising auction.

Sponsors donated items including the chance to play a Twenty20 cricket game at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove next year, a limited edition jumper signed by England cricketer Jofra Archer and the opportunity to become a winemaker for the day at Ridgeview winery in Ditchling.

The money raised will be distributed to help those affected by the pandemic.

The meal kit initiative is the first project to receive funding from the Sussex Cricket Foundation, and more will following in the months to come.

Katy Cooper, a trustee of the Sussex Cricket Foundation, said: “As we heard with the announcement of the new National Food Strategy, poor nutrition for children in England is a slow motion disaster.

“The Sussex Cricket Foundation is delighted to be taking steps to tackle this in Brighton and Hove through our partnership with ‘In the Bag,’ which will distribute nutritious meal kits to hundreds of families struggling to pay for food in these very difficult times”.

If you are struggling to afford food there are food banks and support services available across the city. For details, visit

To support the work of the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, visit