Staff at Jewell Academy in Bournemouth are supporting vulnerable pupils during lockdown by ensuring they receive food parcels.
Almost 25 families have been identified as needing help by the school’s inclusion team and receive around two bags every fortnight containing essential food items and toiletries.
The donations are packed by charity Hope For Food in Bournemouth and then distributed by staff who drive to homes in the school’s minibus and also use the drop offs as an opportunity to engage with students and check on their welfare. Food parcels are also provided by charity Community Fridge.
Families would normally collect food parcels from the school but currently have them delivered because of the Government’s coronavirus lockdown guidelines.
Principal of Jewell, Alexandra Waddington said it is a privilege to be able to help. Speaking to the Bournemouth Echo (article pictured above), she said: ‘’We’ve got a lot of need in our area anyway but because of Covid-19, more people have lost their jobs or had to give up work to look after their children. This has increased financial pressure on families and means that they struggle to feed their children.
‘’we’ve gone from having 11 families we helped with food parcels before lockdown to doubling in size to 21. Families with children at the school are coming to us and asking for help and that’s a privileged position to be in because it shows we have a great relationship with our families and they trust us to help them.
‘’We’re grateful to Hope For Food and the Community Fridge for the support they’ve given us.’’
The Community Fridge is an initiative that sees supermarkets, restaurants, shops and households donate food that is nearing its end date. The Townsend branch is located next to the school and earlier this week, brother and sister Ethan, 10, and Ella-Rose Hoy, 7, popped in to help prepare deliveries.
The pair who are Jewell Academy pupils are both in school as their mother is a key worker.
Caroline Green, Co-ordinator at the Townsend Community Fridge, revealed that in addition to helping families through the school, food parcels are delivered to over 150 other families in the area.
She said: ‘’We are still supporting the families that have always comes to us but we have seen families where parents are self-employed or were on zero hours contracts and they haven’t got the money to pay for food and they need our help to get them through this difficult time.
‘’We’re glad we can help and at the same time make sure that food is not being wasted or going to landfill.’’
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