It can be hard being a summer-loving child these days. Harder than when I was a kid anyway... and yes, before you say it, that was hundreds of years ago.

Tough being a parent too, when school’s out and that fabled quality family time is on the cards. Can’t help but wonder what that is now and what qualifies as quality.

Some will be lucky enough to jet off to a foreign beach or cinema-centred theme park. Others – the less fortunate - will kick their heels for six weeks or so and wish for the return of a more familiar routine in a classroom.

Remember the tediously obligatory first assignment in September on back-to-school day?

“Quietly now, write about what you did on your holidays and we’ll read the best out later.”

In other words, the fed-up teacher needed to ease into work gently. Teachers – contrary to popular myth - also find long holidays stressful.

Now, it’s true to say I never had a child. Never could. But I used to be one and can’t ever recall one of those excited holiday stories starting with: “We went to the foodbank with mum and had baked beans for tea.”

The thought occurs as collections for food banks are being held across north Cumbria, in urgent appeals to cater for families thrown together – where possible - over the summer and the reality that, without school meals, some youngsters will go hungry.

Not much by way of quality there. Not by any old-fashioned conventional measure anyway. It’s not the Enid Blyton picture of seaside fun with lashings of ginger beer. Do people donate ginger beer to food banks? Perhaps we should. Neither does it help even the better-off and the just-getting-by to know that a family jaunt almost anywhere, in school holiday time, will be priced at up to 124 per cent more than at any other time of the year. Kiddie-themed days out can be as bad.

Some are calling it a blatant rip-off by the travel industry. Insert your own definition, should you disagree. But “unaffordable” sounds like a reasonable compromise.

It is clearly true that expectations of childhood have changed since we oldies were slips of things, enjoying simpler pleasures than trips to Florida or Paris to hang out with Mickey Mouse.

My little brother and I were lucky – life can be like that. Our grandma lived on the Northumberland coast and we happily scrambled around in dunes for weeks on end. We paddled, built sand castles – safely unsupervised - and greedily devoured delicious pork sausage sarnies at teatime. Then one September day, when classroom story time arrived right on cue and mine read: “We went to Seaton Sluice and...” my teacher responded: “Again?”

That was perhaps the start of changing expectations. That was maybe the first time I had cause to wonder whether my unquestioned happiness was possibly not quite up to scratch – by her conventional measure. Be that as it may, seaside staycations with grandma are a long distance from day trips to the foodbank. And the latter seem indefensible decades later, when we might have expected at least some progress to have been made in securing the best for our children.

August must be a waking nightmare for many parents, wondering how to put food on the table, while juggling several jobs, shrinking benefits and trying to explain why waterslides in Teneriffe are out of the question this year – and probably next.

Raising any child’s expectations only to smash them down again with hard realities is a miserable way to approach childhood. Current foodbank collections tell us that much and more.

This week, Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg put out a list of banned words and phrases to his team. Widely reported, the collection included: “Equal; very; yourself; ongoing; unacceptable; I...”

There were many more. We should be grateful they weren’t in Latin, I suppose. Might I suggest one more, which is conspicuous by its absence? Foodbanks – they no longer being necessary. In the meantime, donate what you can, when you can, with a smile. It won’t help at classroom story time but keeping a child’s hunger at bay is a good start.