HUNDREDS of children are benefitting from a new scheme that is tackling holiday hunger.

Youngsters from across Blackburn with Darwen are currently receiving a daily free lunchbox thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

In its first three weeks, the scheme, launched by Kingdom Outreach, a Christian charity providing support to those in poverty, has supported 1,080 children.

Kat Zaman, of Kingdom Outreach, who coordinated the scheme, said holiday hunger is a national issue.

She said: “We have families who come regularly and some who have come once or twice.

“We've had a big response from the children’s centres.

“Some of the parents have said because they are picking up the lunchboxes they have that extra money to do something with their children in the holidays.

“It is not just about feeding the children it is about getting them to interact and build relationships.”

She added the scheme has brought the community together with volunteers, businesses and churches working to pack and distribute the lunches.

The Bishop of Blackburn the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, said: “Our Diocesan Vision 2026 is about healthy churches transforming communities and there can be no better community initiative than this one.”

It is supported by Blackburn with Darwen Council, Great Places, Together Lancashire and Big Local.

Each lunch costs £1 to make.

Gillian Beeley, Together Lancashire development coordinator, said: “This is the first year that the project has run and the team is delighted that so many partners have come forward to help.

“It takes a village to bring up a child – and that is exactly what is happening here in Blackburn with Darwen.”

The project is looking for volunteers. To get in touch search Kingdom Outreach on Facebook.