The MakeLunch project, which provides a weekly food parcel to families experiencing financial hardship in the Stratford District during the school holidays, says it has been delighted with the number of people they have helped.
The Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank works to prevent and relieve poverty in the local area, by providing emergency food supplies to families who are in crisis and throughout the pandemic, it has seen an increase in the number of people asking for help.
Recent research carried out by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) found that school closures during lockdown affected low-income families most heavily and that the rising cost of food was one of factors which contributed to this*.
Foodbanks offer short-term emergency support by providing food to those who need it most. They also signpost people to additional support services, to help resolve the issues they are facing in the long term, such as debt, housing, mental health, childcare and homelessness. And with half term fast approaching, the foodbank is appealing for more donations.
Each food parcel delivered by the MakeLunch project contains three days-worth of nutritionally balanced food, including tins, packet items and fresh produce, as well as a small treat for the children.
Non-perishable items are donated by the public, at drop-off points across the Stratford District. And funding from Orbit has helped to purchase fresh food for the parcels, to ensure that families experiencing food poverty maintain a nutritional balanced diet throughout the school holidays.
In the summer, deliveries were made discreetly from Monday 20th July to Monday 24th August, by one of the project’s 120 volunteers. The MakeLunch project has been able to help over 70 families locally, many of whom are Orbit customers.
Marion Homer, Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank Manager added: “This has been such an important project for us, enabling us to trial deliveries of our enhanced food parcels. The funding provided by Orbit has helped us to bring this service to over 70 families in and around Stratford. We have learned a lot and we can now apply what we have learnt to our future service enhancements.”
The project was delivered in partnership with Stratford Churches Together and was made available to families with at least one child of primary school age. Families did not have to be eligible for free school meals to receive a food parcel. The MakeLunch project also signposts families to agencies for ongoing support.
Cheryl Flavell, Placemaking and Partnership Manager at Orbit said: “At Orbit, we are committed to creating a better society by reinvesting our profits to improve local services and communities. It is fantastic to see how £1,000 funding from Orbit has helped the Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank made a difference to so many struggling families during the school holidays.
“Due to the ongoing pandemic, the MakeLunch project was unable to provide hot meals to families in crisis. However, they managed to adapt their service and were able to supply weekly food parcels containing fresh fruit and vegetables. Without the vital work by the Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank, many families in the local area would be facing food poverty during this difficult time.”
If you are a parent or guardian with a primary school aged child and feel you might benefit from food parcel delivery, or if you are working with families in a crisis situation, please contact MakeLunch Project Leader Ann Jones on the information below:
Call: 07580 557163
For more information please visit the MakeLunch Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SOAMakeLunch/
*Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) Cost of the School Day research, Summer 2020