Muswell Hill Food Bank (MHFB) has introduced a new scheme which will see food parcels being delivered to more than 350 children over the next two months.
MHFB is part of the Trussell Trust, a nationwide network of food banks working to combat hunger and poverty in the UK.
The Summer Top-up Food for Families (STUFF) initiative was launched last week and aims to support 13 local schools across the London boroughs of Haringey and Barnet.
Students who are entitled to free school meals will be eligible for the STUFF scheme, which will allow families to collect up to three food parcels until August 19, and once again between September 2 to September 4.
“We’ve been bowled over by the generosity of our local community during the pandemic, so we have plenty of stock at the moment,” said Victor Mason, MHFB manager.
“We hate the idea of children going hungry over the summer. Our volunteers have been working hard to contact schools and sign them up over the past few weeks,” Mr Mason said.
In April of this year, MHFB was one of the first community projects funded through Haringey Giving’s Together We Can Covid-19 fund.
MHFB received £5,000 from Haringey Giving in response to a significant increase in demand, helping the MHFB team provide some of Haringey’s most vulnerable people with urgent supplies.
“Demand at the food bank is rocketing and we expect it to grow massively over the next few weeks. This grant will enable us to deliver food parcels to between 150 and 200 families in desperate need. Every bit of the grant will be used to purchase food,” said Mr Mason.
On July 20, the headteacher of Coppetts Wood School, Kristie Barrett, helped deliver 60 food parcels to students and their families.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, MHFB have seen an increase in food stamp referrals, particularly among those who have recently been made redundant and families on the breadline who were previously reliant on free school meals, but are now struggling with their children out of school.
Mr Mason commended the unflagging efforts of his team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to prepare and deliver food parcels across London. “We have people from every conceivable background working together and giving so much time and energy,” he said.
“Any problem that arises, there was someone stepping forward with a plan. I’m just the facilitator of these very talented, gifted, and generous people.”
Visit the MHFB website to find out how you can get involved in the STUFF scheme.