READING’S Salvation Army will be providing free healthy meals to families over the

summer holidays in a bid to tackle hunger.

The Salvation Army’s Reading Central Community Church has partnered with local schools and social services to help provide meals for up to 70 families each week.

The scheme will run from Thursday July 25 for just over five weeks at The Salvation Army church by the Castle Hill roundabout.

The service will open from 11:30am-1pm every Monday, excluding bank holiday Monday August 26, and Thursdays up to September 2.

Major Richard Welch, church leader at Reading Central Salvation Army, said: “Last year, we had a meeting with a school that told us about parents in the community who go without food in order to give their children a hot meal during the holidays. We wanted to do something to help.

“We reached out to ‘TLG Make Lunch’, a Christian charity that has expertise in this area, as well as local churches and charitable groups to provide free meals during the holidays for families that normally benefit from free school meals.

“We are ready to offer this community service again this summer.”

Volunteers from local churches, businesses and schools will support The Salvation Army to run the Make Lunch initiative.

The Salvation Army regularly provides support to local families in Reading.

So far this year, more than 400 meals have been provided to local families during school holidays.

Families are invited to register for the lunches via their school or directly with Reading Central Salvation Army by emailing

This summer, in addition to serving free meals for families during the day, Reading Central Salvation Army is hosting a night shelter with accommodation for up to 10 people experiencing homelessness while The Salvation Army’s Lifehouse on Willow Street is being renovated.

Major Richard added: “We are also preparing for Reading Festival. The Salvation Army has been at the festival for 48 years providing a safe place for festival goers and offering good value breakfast, snacks and drinks.

“Salvation Army staff will be available at our marquee 24/7, ready to serve thousands of people over the course of the event.”