FIFTY families and 20 youngsters took advantage of a campaign to combat school holiday hunger, councillors have heard.

Council bosses in Rossendale worked with borough headteachers to launch a pilot scheme over the summer break, for pupils who qualified for free school meals.

St James and Haslingden primary schools took part, as well as St Joseph’s, St Saviour’s and St Mary’s schools in Bacup, St Michael’s and St John’s in Whitworth and St Anne’s Waterfoot.

County council funding, support from the Richard Whittaker charity and private donations paid the £6,171 cost of providing packed lunches.

Alison Wilkins, a communities manager, said: “All involved agreed that the Holiday Hunger pilot project was a success and provided vital support for many families who would otherwise have struggled to provide food or activities for their children over the school summer holidays.”

Newground is now looking at working with parents at St Joseph’s and St Mary’s to provide a debt advice service.