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Free school meals - how can we help?

(10 Posts)
Dilbertian Tue 21-Apr-20 10:50:23

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52325332

I live in a naice middle-class town, with lower-than-average uptake of free school meals. We have an active Food Bank. I'm sure we have hungry children here, but it's even worse elsewhere.

How can I help? I'm already putting 8-10 items in the Food Bank box whenever I go food shopping. Is there anything else I can do?

OP’s posts: |
mindutopia Tue 21-Apr-20 10:54:00

Can you make a cash donation to a food bank or other charity that works in a 'not as naice as yours' area? I suspect there are some food banks that are receiving lots of donations, but others that are really overwhelmed with need. They may also have loads of the usual stuff, but be lacking in high demand items, which would be easier to source with cash to buy them.

P1nkHeartLovesCake Tue 21-Apr-20 11:03:12

I have to say it does shock me that in a country like the uk people can’t afford 1 extra meal a day for the child they have. The fact people need a free school meal, voucher to feed little Johnny is just awful to think about.

BBC done a piece on a Grimsby head teacher and he walks everyday and delivers a packed lunch for all the free school meal dc from his school. Link here
www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-leeds-52213388/coronavirus-grimsby-teacher-delivering-dozens-of-lunches-a-day

In terms of helping OP all you can do is keep putting stuff in the food bank box and if you can afford it also make a cash donation to the food bank as well. Then they can buy what they need, as some supermarkets have limits on stuff you don’t want to leave your own family short. I imagine they might even get deals on bulk buy from some companies given they are a food bank so would get a better deal than you in the supermarket.

StripeyLurcher Tue 21-Apr-20 11:10:10

I know someone with MH problems who won't take vouchers as they have been unkindly treated by shop assistants in the past, and they can't cope with this due to their MH. I think others must feel this same way, even if they do use the vouchers. Maybe some kind of campaign to help with the stigma of needing free food.

YahBasic Tue 21-Apr-20 11:11:13

There are a number of schemes you can donate to - Magic Breakfast is one.

AnnieOH1 Tue 21-Apr-20 11:12:46

Olio Cook4kids maybe?

WorraLiberty Tue 21-Apr-20 11:17:43

Have a look at your council website.

Mine is full of links to local charities and new community help groups.

okiedokieme Tue 21-Apr-20 11:26:54

Donating to the trussell trust centrally means the money can be directed to areas with highest need, some areas have more active councils and voluntary sectors so food banks aren't as overwhelmed - here our council is dropping food for free school meal families and you can get a hot meal delivered by the gudwara for £1 per adult, kids free (I was sent a meal as a trial because I'm the ward coordinator and it was delicious, healthy and nutritionally balanced) ideal for those without proper cooking facilities. Benefits are still available, though there's been delays due to number of new applications

carriebreadshaw Tue 21-Apr-20 12:17:56

@stripeylurcher the current vouchers are just the same as gift cards. No one would know they were FSM vouchers. Might be worth telling your friend that so she's not missing out

Jellycatspyjamas Tue 21-Apr-20 13:03:51

I have to say it does shock me that in a country like the uk people can’t afford 1 extra meal a day for the child they have. The fact people need a free school meal, voucher to feed little Johnny is just awful to think about.

With respect, there are many families who struggle to feed themselves at all, for whom the free school meal is the only meal their child might get - or the only hot meal they get. I know many families where the free school meal voucher is effectively their food budget for the week. I think folk utterly underestimate the levels of poverty in the U.K. which have systematically worsened with the austerity policies pursued by the current government. Evidenced now by folk who would usually never rely on the benefits system finding out how paltry the suns involved actually are on an individual basis.

You can donate to your local food bank, give to the Trussel Trust and, in future, act towards a fairer, more equitable society.

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