Last week over the October half-term, the Students’ Union opened up their doors to provide free hot meals to all school aged children in response to the Government’s recent vote to not extend the free school meals programme into the holidays.
The community response was incredible. We raised over £8,000 through our Just Giving page in just under a week which is an outstanding amount and will all go towards ensuring we can continue to deliver free hot meals to those who need it.
The local community were so supportive with their donations and spread the message far and wide so that families were aware that there was support available for them if they are going through difficult times. Our Bucks students and alumni were just as wonderful in rising to the occasion and volunteered their time to come down to campus and serve meals, snacks, and drinks, and to welcome visitors with a friendly smile and point them in the right direction.
Our menu for the half-term included gluten free pasta, sausages and chips, tomato soup and a selection of fresh fruit and yogurt pots. A local Tesco has also been wonderful and donated pasta, sauce, and sausage rolls to make sure we didn’t run out and could provide a meal for everyone. Kieran Langston, a manager at the store, made sure we had everything we could need and donated a £100 gift voucher to spend on food in store. Local businesses, Lata Lata and Knead Pizza, have also donated fruit and pizza to our initiative. We have been able to send meals home with families and give them food parcels which have been made up of kind food donations, to ensure they still had access to meals if they weren't on campus.
We knew that not everyone could make it into the centre of town and thanks to our generous student volunteers, we were able to take these hot meals out into the community to make the meals as accessible as possible to the families who needed them. We’d like to say a special thank you to Brian Keers from Impact Food who drove over two hours to drop off storage boxes so that we could keep our meals hot when delivering them and to the staff at The Clare Foundation for making this possible.
Tamsin Grainger, Bucks Students’ Union President, said, “No child should suffer for something they can’t control, so as a community I am so proud to see that we all came together to make sure that no one goes hungry.”