'It's heartbreaking this happens in 2019' - Schools start providing food to hungry families
PUBLISHED: 19:27 19 October 2019 | UPDATED: 19:27 19 October 2019
Five primary schools in Suffolk and north Essex are introducing 'community fridges' - to cut food waste and support families that are struggling to afford groceries.
Reach2 Academy Trust is piloting the project in East Anglia in an effort to combat childhood hunger and unnecessary food waste in schools.
The fridges, which will be stocked full of nutritious meals and fresh fruit, will be freely available for parents to take from.
Sir Steve Lancashire, chief executive of Reach2, said: "We often hear about children going to school hungry because their families simply cannot afford to provide them with the food that they would want to.
"To think that this is happening in 2019 is heartbreaking.
"We look forward to seeing the impact of our community fridges to the five communities they are supporting."
The project is set to begin in five schools which fall under Reach2's management after the half term break.
The five schools in Suffolk and north Essex to benefit from the project are:
- Unity Primary Academy, Colchester
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- Sir Martin Frobisher Primary Academy, Clacton
- Spirites Primary Academy, Ipswich
- Beccles Primary Academy, Beccles
- St Margaret's Primary Academy, Lowestoft
The trust has said the fridges will be placed in discreet locations in schools so parents will "avoid any stigma" associated with taking food.
The fridges will be restocked regularly by Reach2's catering team, providing food that will soon go out of date, which Reach2 said will reduce waste.
Sir Steve added: "Every week school kitchens have to discard food due to 'Best Before' dates, limited 'Use By' dates or simply because it is the weekend.
"This is food that if it were within a family home would be perfectly fine to use for family meals."
The trust added that they will expand the community fridges scheme to all of their 59 primary schools nationwide if the pilot is successful.