In the UK 1.2 million children/young people are entitled to Free School Meals. But whilst for the vast majority of students the cry of ‘school’s out!’ is a cause for celebration, for those who receive free school meals it’s a different matter. For many families, the additional burden of providing lunch during school holidays is too much. Increasingly children are going hungry because there’s no money for ‘extra’ food, in some case parents get into debt in order to provide, and in many families the parents go without food in order that their children have something to eat.
In our local community we have six schools (5 Primary & 1 Secondary) with a total of 675 students who are entitled to free school meals. That’s potentially 675 children/young people who are going hungry every half term & end of term break, and during the summer holidays. There are approximately 13 weeks of school holidays, and five ‘school days’ per week. Multiply that by the number of students entitled to free school meals in our area and the result is almost 44,000 meals required! We know that we’re not in a position to meet all of that need – but we can’t sit back and do nothing. So we plan to do something about it…
Watch this video to find out about a project simply called ‘Lunch’ which encourages Churches & community groups to work together to ensure children & young people don’t go hungry outside term time:
This weekend our Youth Minister preached on the account of Jesus feeding a crowd of 5,000 people [Matthew 14:13-21] and applied its lessons & principles to the idea of starting the Lunch project in our area. Grab a (large) coffee and listen to the talk below. At the end there is a challenge for anyone who is willing to get involved in the project to pass on their details. We’ve had a great response already (and have heard that other community groups are considering how to tackle the issue!) – but you can never have too many willing hands. [Update: we’ve had more offers of practical support today and two people offering to find/raise money to ensure it happens. Praise God! Still room for more though Lord ;o) ]
If you would like to support us in our efforts to get this project off the ground let us know via our contact page and we’ll keep you informed of our progress and how you can help.