Fringe Box



Letter: Free School Meals – Thank You to the Good Citizens of Guildford

Published on: 28 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 28 Oct, 2020

From: Joss Bigmore

leader of Guildford Borough Council and R4GV borough councillor for Christchurch

Rightly, the issue of child hunger during school holidays is still dominating the news. In our borough, we have children who really need meals that normally would be provided at schools in term-time.

With Westminster voting against providing free meals during school holidays, in Guildford we are fortunate because our community has rallied to the cause, our good citizens and local businesses working with the council to combat food poverty.

That cause was well-entrenched. Even after government funding to provide food parcels to the most vulnerable stopped back in the summer, the borough council has continued collecting and distributing them.

Now we will extend this by coordinating with our community services team to ensure vulnerable families with children at home get the support they need. Our efforts have been complemented by our partnership with voluntary organisations, the private sector, and the schools themselves.

I thank everybody who has offered help, including Surrey University, Kings College, Foodwise, Stoke Community Support, The Ash, Ash Vale and Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group as well as Mandira’s Kitchen which donated 250 meals.

We also thank Pho Restaurant and Love Brownies in Tunsgate offering packed lunches and the Bench Bar at the Sports Park providing hot meals.

There are many more and I apologise for not being able to mention everybody who is helping now and those who have offered support since the beginning of the pandemic.

I am investigating setting up a civic accreditation so those who have given selflessly throughout this crisis are recognised officially for the quiet heroes they are.

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