Young people in care and vulnerable families are being supported this Christmas by Edge Hill University who are supplying food parcels to ensure no-one goes hungry over the festive period.
Child food poverty has been widely documented in the news recently, led by footballer Marcus Rashford MBE, who has been campaigning to ensure no child goes hungry.
His campaign captured the hearts of the nation and the University pledged to support the initiative as it resonates with the values of Edge Hill, which has a long, proud history of championing equality, inclusion and social justice.
While the government promised last month an additional £170 million in funding to support families in need during the half terms, it has stipulations and Edge Hill realised that many families may miss out due to the funding stipulations.
Helen Connelly, Edge Hill’s Commercial Services Manager, said:
“We believe that no child should go hungry and have been reaching out to schools and local authorities to offer to lend a helping hand. Our donations will help those families who have missed out on Government funding but are still on a low income as well as care leavers who may be struggling to make ends meet. Hopefully our contributions will sprinkle a little bit of festive cheer across our communities and lets them know that people care.”
Burscough Primary School and Blackburn-with-Darwen Council decided to take up Edge Hill’s offer of free food supplies to any school or local authority struggling to feed children over Christmas if they needed help.
Helen Crowder, Deputy Headteacher at Burscough Village Primary School said:
“Over the October half term break, Edge Hill was generous enough to support some of the Burscough Village Primary School families who needed support with food, whilst the children were not in school. As we move into the festive period and the end of what has been a very strange year, the school once again reached out to Edge Hill for support as we were mindful of the additional pressure that some families face this time of year.
“The food parcels that Edge Hill has produced will support our families in continuing to eat healthy whilst we have a break away from school and evaluate some of the possible pressures. To us it is much more than food, it demonstrates community support and kindness. Thank Edge Hill for the generosity in supporting the wider community.”
Maria Nugent, Early Help and Support Service Manager at Blackburn-with-Darwen Council, said:
“We have 250 young people who have experienced care and are supported by our Leaving Care Service. These young people need our support as many don’t have a family, which is hard currently of year. Our service helps care leavers to find accommodation, access training, education or employment and provides them with emotional support. We help them to develop the skills they need as they enter adulthood and learn practical skills such as cooking, money management and how to look after themselves. Extra support from local communities helps them to stretch their allowances to afford some of what we all take for granted. Receiving food parcels from Edge hill University will help these young people to feel part of a community and give them that little extra support during the Christmas period.”
Councillor Julie Gunn, Blackburn-with-Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, added:
“Young people in our care and our most vulnerable families are hugely important to us and especially at this time of year when many need our help and support even more during what can be a difficult time for them. These food parcels will be a huge help to the people who need them most. They will also be a really helpful addition to our work with the Covid Winter Grants, which gives funding to struggling families with food bills and other essentials to help keep warm such as heating this winter. We are working to make it as easy as possible for people to get the support they need to improve things which will hopefully give people some peace of mind this Christmas and festive period.”