Lunch supplies for families

Author: Marianne Starling

Published on: 4 May 2021

Here at St Mary’s Church, Watton we have been very busy.

Back in the Easter holidays we joined with our local schools and provided lunch supplies for families receiving Free School Meals in Watton and the immediate area. The generous donations from our congregation and community members meant that we were able to kick start the project and since then it has begun to evolve.

With the introduction of the government voucher scheme in place soon after the Easter holidays, we were able to use some of our funds to support families with other essential non-food items. Over a few short weeks we provided toiletries, games, art supplies and a breast pump. However, as the weeks rolled on, we continued to identify a need for lunch and food supplies. Although the government voucher scheme was announced to cover the summer holidays, through our relationship with the local schools we knew there were more children in need.

Within a couple of weeks, the ‘Holiday Kitchen’ had formed. Support from local supermarket vouchers/donations, the Food Bank, and a small group of dedicated volunteers from church, school and community mean we have been able to run three collection points each week of the summer holidays so far. Families can come and collect their weekly lunch supplies no questions asked. Through our collection points we have been able to build relationships with the same faces each week (sometimes twice weekly!). We are on the ground witnessing the amazing community love and spirit families share with their neighbours. Many come out and collect on behalf of several other families on their street who are either shielding or unable to leave the home easily. We are humbled to provide for this very basic of needs in our community.

We are striving to sustain the Holiday Kitchen throughout the summer holidays and on into future school holidays as well. We have not only seen the benefits from food provision, but the relational benefits too. It is with much excitement and anticipation that we pursue the next stage and shape that the Holiday Kitchen will evolve into.

The author...

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Marianne Starling

Families Matter Keyworker, St Mary’s, Watton

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