A LUNCH club providing free hot meals for children has received a cash boost.

The Monkwick Munch Club, based in Colchester, provides lunch for children and their families who normally receive free school dinners.

It ensures the children do no go hungry during school holidays.

Staff and volunteers have now received £3,500 from Active Essex and Livewell Colchester, as well as support from Colchester Council.

The money will go towards running the club along with some physical activity sessions.

Mike Lilley, Colchester councillor responsible for communities and wellbeing, said: “The reality is the school summer holidays can be a difficult time for some young people in our town.

“I am sure these free hot meals alongside the play and sports activities will have a positive impact on low-income households.”

Volunteers served 340 hot meals during the two-week Easter school holidays.

Club founders Maureen Powell and councillor Dave Harris are now helping families through the summer break.

Maureen said: “My heartfelt thanks for this very generous donation.

“I am also proud and pleased to announce Greenstead and Old Heath Munch Clubs have just been launched.

“Booking is a priority as space is limited and you can book via email, phone or follow the Facebook page for your area.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported the clubs since this journey began, allowing us to bring smiles, friendship, full tummies and laughter to so many.”

Louise Voyce, from The Active Essex Foundation, said it was good to see such a wide range of partners working together to tackle such an important issue.

The Monkwick club is held at the 5th Colchester Scout Hall in Queen Elizabeth Way, from 11.15am to 1pm on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

It relies on food donations from individuals, community groups and businesses across Colchester, including Colchester Foodbank.

If anyone would like to donate fresh, canned or dry produce, or who would like to sign up to attend the club, they should contact Maureen Powell at maureenpowell1952@yahoo.co.uk or call 07974 113341.