Charity gears up to deliver ingredients for children who rely on free school meals
- Credit: Archant
A charity is preparing to deliver more free ingredients to children on free school meals across Suffolk and Great Yarmouth this Christmas.
Access Community Trust, a Lowestoft based charity, established The Pink Orange in the summer after receiving funding from Suffolk Community Funding.
Volunteers at The Pink Orange distribute free ingredient kits during the school holidays to households that receive free school meals during term time.
Weekly ingredients are delivered to households which ensures families can cook two freshly prepared meals from the free ingredients.
According to data from Suffolk Observatory, areas in Lowestoft such as Normanston and Harbour have some of the highest income deprivation affecting young people in the UK.
Head of Communications for Access Community Trust, Simon Baldry, 39, heads up the service and said: “We are different to the usual foodbanks in the sense that we specifically target young children who are eligible to free school meals.
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“We are trying to reverse the stigma around families being forced to access foodbanks.”
During the summer, Access supported 5,206 households across Suffolk, providing 65 tonnes of ingredients which equalled 117,000 meals being prepared across the county.
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Estimates by the charity indicate that out of the 152,270 0 to 17 year olds in Suffolk, 12,135 of these children that receive free school meals in term time are registered as relying on a local foodbank.
With demand for ingredients being high during the summer, Mr Baldry confirmed plans that the charity will be delivering to families across Great Yarmouth this Christmas.
He said: “We are launching our Christmas campaign now and expect demand to be even higher going into the Christmas holidays.”
The demand for fresh ingredients for those on free school meals across Waveney and Great Yarmouth is expected to increase over the October half term and Christmas holidays in part due Peter Aldous and Brandon Lewis voting against the extension of free school meals.
Mr Baldry said: “I’m dissapointed our local MPs voted against the extension of free school meals into the Christmas holidays.
“It pushed us to launch this service and it is now more important than ever.
“We will deliver Christmas to the thousands of households who are in need of a fresh meal across Suffolk and Great Yarmouth.”