United Kingdom: Loughborough, parishes and schools prepare meals for disadvantaged children

Ensuring hot meals for the whole summer, from mid-July to the end of August, to those children who during the school year eat thanks to the food offered by the school and paid for with public money. The idea is spreading across Britain after the Parliamentary Group on Hunger reported last year that many school children are not fed by anyone during the summer months and struggle to survive on the food provided by their family. Parishes and schools are involved in the project. In Loughborough, a town in the county of Leicestershire, Central England, the poverty rate is 32%, well above the national average of 22%. There, the Catholic parish of St. Mary’s has set up a “Grub Club” where volunteers will be preparing a lunch every Monday and Thursday, from 16 July to 20 August. Also participating in the initiative will be the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, located in the same town, with its attached school, the primary school run by the Church of England, and the Cobden Primary School. “It is shocking to think that there are entire families who always go hungry”, says Sue Clarke, one of the parishioners who will work in the kitchen during the project. “We have received many donations and we have sufficient funds to finance the project. But we need people willing to cook, clean the kitchen, and check the list of children who will receive our hot meals”.

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