HideOut Youth Zone to offer free meals to all members over the winter months amid the cost-of-living crisis.  

On Wednesday 12 October, HideOut Youth Zone, based in Gorton (Manchester) announced it would offer free meals to all members from 24th October 2022, until 28th February 2023 to support with the current cost-of-living crisis.  

The cost-of-living crisis is an ongoing issue for families across the UK, in which prices for many essential goods began increasing faster than household incomes, resulting in a fall in real incomes.  

It is believed that those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds will be affected the most by this crisis, with many families struggling to heat their homes and afford food.  

In a recent survey (October 2022) of 2,000 young people, carried out by The Princes Trust, a significant number of young people shared that they are worried they won’t be able to afford food this winter as the cost-of-living crisis spirals, with a quarter saying they have skipped meals to cut back on spending.  

90% of HideOut’s membership are young people who come from within the top 20% of the most deprived areas in the UK, meaning these families may suffer financial difficulties due to the cost-of-living crisis. 

HideOut currently offers hot meals to members for £1, however, has made the decision to offer free meals to all members whilst on session to take this burden off families who may struggle through the winter months.  

Speaking about the decision, CEO of HideOut Youth Zone, Adam Farricker said:

We are entering an unprecedented period of time, and although everyone is hurt by inflation, the impacts are not felt evenly across society. The upcoming months will cause hardships for many families across Manchester, and as a young lad growing up in Gorton, I know the importance of a community coming together and looking out for each other.  

“We’ve made the decision to offer all members free meals so they can focus on other areas in their lives without the added pressure of their next meal. We will continue to provide young people with somewhere safe to go, something positive to do and someone trusted to talk to.”  

Since opening in 2020, HideOut Youth Zone has seen a growing membership of over 5,000 young people aged 8-19 and up to 25 with additional needs. 

Members access the Youth Zone for a £5 annual membership and just 50p per session.