Last week, thousands across the country were devastated after the rejection of a Labour proposal to offer free meals throughout the school holidays until Easter 2021. Despite having the highest number of children utilising the Free School Meal provision during term time in the country (over 6,300 students), Northfield’s Conservative MP defended his vote against the proposal as a deterrence of “state dependency”.
The number of school children and families with limited access to food has skyrocketed during COVID-19 and mass redundancies, with many now not sure where to turn. With MP’s adopting an ‘either or’ frame of mind seemingly under the impression that children are only required to eat during term time, councils, communities and local businesses have come together in a heart warming display of support to step up where the government has failed.
In light of this, Northfield Food Service (NFS) have partnered with Digbeth Dining Club (DDC) to ensure that, although families may not be sure where their next pay cheque will come from, they won’t need to have the same worry about their next meal. DDC is just one of the brands providing for low income families in Northfield and Coventry.
Setting up crowdfunding to support some of their regular traders in delivering free school meals to children throughout the half term holidays, DDC have raised a combined total of just over £25,000 from members of the public (so far!). Every single penny of the proceeds is used to fund their traders in creating and delivering meals for families who are struggling to make ends meet across Northfield and Coventry.
The initiative from DDC and NFS has received unprecedented support from local restaurants, vendors and businesses. For instance, the likes of Gymshark, Aldi (providing bags and freezer bags for transport), Little Blackwood Moseley, Fat Snags, Pietanic, Function Fit Food, CEX (donated 2 laptops to help keep on top of the data), and more. There are also over 400 businesses who have registered to #HelpOutWhenSchoolsOut by providing free meals to children in need throughout the October half-term. To check which businesses are taking part in your area, you can enter your postcode on this website.
It is amazing to see local businesses and councils come together to show support within the community, and it makes us so proud to be Brummies! If you’re in a position to donate, you can do so for the Coventry area here, or Northfield here. If, like many others, you are better equipped to donate your time, you can follow this link to signup for volunteering and help deliver the amazing meals that DDC and Northfield Food Service are providing.