Harlow Council is donating up to £10,000 to Harlow Foodbank to help feed families this half term including children who are entitled to free school meals.
The council will donate the money to the foodbank using funds saved by not having a public firework display this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding will pay for Harlow Foodbank to prepare and deliver food boxes to local families. Depending on demand, if any funding from the council is not used it will be carried over to help support families over the Christmas period.
Harlow Foodbank supports families and individuals in crisis by providing free emergency food. This includes families with children who are entitled to free school meals.
A number of local businesses and organisations have also been responding to nationwide calls to help feed children this half term and ensure no child goes hungry.
Councillor Chris Vince, portfolio holder for community wellbeing, said:
“With the work of Harlow Foodbank and that of local businesses and organisations no children should go hungry this half term. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, which is putting more and more pressures on local families, so we must step up, work together and support those in need.
“When we announced that we were not holding a firework display this year there were calls from residents to use the money to support a good cause instead. I’m glad we have found that good cause and that parents who will struggle to put food on the table for their children will be able to do so this week. But our support won’t stop there, we will continue to work together with local organisations to ensure that families can get the support they need so no one goes hungry at any time.”
Andy Thornton, Chief Executive Officer of Harlow foodbank said:
“Harlow foodbank are thrilled to be offered this chance to support needy families over the half term and beyond. We are grateful that Harlow Council have made this possible. This gift will be targeted at any families who receive free school meals and who reach out for help for food for their kids. We recognise that this has been a very difficult year, and we have given out almost twice as much food this year as last year. We will do all we can to distribute the donation from the Council across all agencies supporting families entitled to free school meals. We ask those who know about anyone in need to get in touch with us we will point them in the right direction.”
Councillor Frances Mason, portfolio holder for governance, equality and diversity said:
“It is good news to hear Harlow Council will be supporting Harlow Foodbank this half term. I will work with our diverse communities in Harlow to ensure no child goes without food this half term.”
If you are a family who would have had free school meals in the term time but now need support during the holidays, you can call Harlow Foodbank on (01279) 724515 or text (07999) 866952 or direct message Harlow Foodbank on their Facebook page.