From 2017, we began providing meals and activities during school holidays in the Cathedral Hall, for families whose children were receiving free school meals. During the Covid lockdowns, to maintain help to those local families who were struggling, we started to deliver parcels of food to their homes. Initially, we helped around 30 families, but the number needing help has gradually increased and now, with the cost-of-living crisis, we are currently delivering substantial food parcels to over 96 families. We aim to ensure the families have healthy and nutritious food available and deliver seven times a year during each school holiday.
The food parcels contain healthy non-perishable food, with some fresh food including fruit and vegetables. We pack more food in the bags for the 47 larger families. As the number of families requiring support has increased, the cost of providing fresh food has escalated from around £1300 per delivery to £2300 in more recent times.
The Local families supported, live in the most deprived areas of the United Kingdom and around 90% are in receipt of free school meals. It is heart-breaking to hear of the many challenges and struggles that the families face, some now having to choose between eating or heating. We also receive urgent messages from families with no food and no money to buy any.
100% of funds for the food parcels is spent on food, we have no overheads.