A member of staff from Tonyrefail Community School is hoping to deliver daily free packed lunches to feed up to 300 local children during the coronavirus crisis.
Leanne Parsons, child protection lead at the school and from Tonyrefail, has launched Tonyrefail Cluster Packed Lunch Providers. Leanne has set up a crowdfunding project which is hoped to provide a free packed lunch delivery service for up to 300 children and families who are most in need across the local area.
“I know children locally and I know how much they need a service like this. I was originally looking to order meals from another provider but when I thought about the numbers of families that need access to something like this, I decided to launch our own local project. That was last Friday afternoon and a week later we are set up to launch – I have been blown away by the support we’ve had.”
Leanne has rallied support from teachers, staff, school catering staff and the probation service and together they will make up and deliver packed lunches to families in need during this time. It is hoped that the fund will raise £30,000 – enough money to run the initiative until the end of the school term in July.
The crowd funding initiative has been kickstarted with Pennant Walters donating £1,800. The money will enable the group to provide packed lunches to 300 pupils for a week and Leanne and the team are hoping this is just the start.
“We know what a difficult time this is for everyone, but we want to help the most vulnerable children in our community.
“We are reaching out to any business or person that may be able to help. It’s not just money we’re looking for – some businesses, that have sadly had to close, have donated food which enables us to make up the lunches – no gesture is too small.
“We know how much this is going to mean to families who are struggling during this time. There may be families who are isolating for a couple of weeks and can’t get out to the shops, whereas others may have been furloughed or lost their jobs meaning they are struggling on their household income. We’re all in different positions but if we can do something to help alleviate the pressure and ensure children have lunch, that will go a long way.
“We are so grateful to Pennant Walters for kickstarting our funding drive – this will ensure 300 children are fed for a week.
“I am thrilled that this idea is now a reality and I’d like to say a huge thank you for such a positive response. I know how much this is going to take to deliver food to children for three months, but I am optimistic we can achieve it.”
9 April 2020