We’ll be supporting children and families at risk of food insecurity with our Breakfast Boxes while schools are closed during the third national lockdown.
Thanks to generous funding from Impact on Urban Health, a part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, we will be supplying over 91,000 nutritious breakfasts every fortnight throughout lockdown to 109 primary and secondary schools currently closed in Southwark and Lambeth. The food will support children and families vulnerable to food insecurity who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Our friends at Chefs in Schools will once again be joining the programme, providing 839 healthy lunch hampers each week.
The coronavirus pandemic is the most urgent crisis affecting children since the Second World War, upending children’s lives around the world and in the UK. Even before the pandemic struck, a YouGov poll in May commissioned by the charity Food Foundation found 2.4 million children (17%) were living in food insecure households. By October, an extra 900,000 children had been registered for free school meals.
This work builds on our previous Breakfast Boxes programme which launched with the first lockdown in March 2020 and ran for 18 weeks throughout school closures and the summer holidays, providing over half a million breakfasts to children and young people. The programme focuses on the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark where, according to Trust for London, 44% of children live in poverty.
With the help of The Menu Partners, we will be delivering the breakfast supplies to schools, supported by school staff and volunteers who will pack and distribute Breakfast Boxes to families. Each box will contain enough nutritious food for ten breakfasts.
In the summer, the boxes provided not only vital nutrition but a way of keeping the community connected. A Lambeth Assistant Headteacher said: “These boxes have been such a lifeline for parents, during a period of severe economic stress. They have absolutely loved them, commenting on how tasty the kids have found the fruit. And it became an important way for us to keep connected with our vulnerable families, beyond their food needs. It has brought us together as a community.”
Our Founder and Chief Executive Stephanie Slater said:
“We are so grateful to be able to step up once again and help families in Lambeth and Southwark during the winter school closures. In 2020 our Breakfast Boxes programme provided over half a million nutritious breakfast to families struggling to feed their families well during lockdown. Children from low-income families have been hit particularly hard by the Covid crisis so our work must continue until we have a long-term solution, through government policy, to end the misery of child food poverty."