Food poverty 'could affect any of us' during pandemic says Mansfield 'School's Out' campaigner
Over the past two years ‘School’s Out For Summer’, a Mansfield based project, has been helping to alleviate hunger of children in the local area whose families struggle during school holidays.
These families usually rely on the support of free school meals, and the current situation during the coronavirus pandemic is making that support more vital than ever.
The aim is to provide parents or carers with vouchers to be used at local supermarkets in exchange for food to help replace the free school meals they usually receive, and the project has successfully helped thousands of families cope through the school holidays previously.
Recently, the ‘School’s Out’ team have been inundated with requests from schools to help more families who have fallen on hard times and will be struggling during the October half term and Christmas break.
School’s Out Champion, Amanda Fisher explains: “What Marcus Rashford is doing countrywide is exactly what School’s Out has been doing here in Mansfield for the last couple of years - so we support his campaign wholeheartedly.
"It is great to see the push for extending school meals to school holidays taking centre stage like this.
"It is a shame that it seems to be such a debated topic as this could affect any of us, especially with furlough and job losses due to the current pandemic.
"Over 6,000 children in Mansfield are living in poverty - we cannot overlook or ignore this.
"We need action and compassion.”
They operate with the help of local volunteers and Councillors but the current situation is becoming more desperate.
With families facing growing financial pressure the uptake for the October half term has doubled from the previous summer holidays.
Volunteers have worked tirelessly during the school holidays to do their bit in tackling the problem as much as possible, however the issue is growing.
If you can help Schools Out by donating or by offering to lend a hand as demand grows, please get in touch.
Visit ‘School’s Out For Summer – Mansfield’ on Facebook for the best ways to donate and to get in touch with the School’s Out team.