Winter support scheme to be launched to stop children going hungry

'No Child Goes Hungry this Christmas' campaign in Downham Market sees more than 95 young people supported through scheme...

The No Child Goes Hungry campaign was launched by volunteers in November. - Credit: Anna Foster

Volunteers who set up a campaign to make sure no child in their area goes hungry over Christmas will continue their efforts this winter following local need.

The No Child Goes Hungry this Christmas campaign in Downham Market was set up in November to provide families with food and support during the festive period. 

Volunteers in Downham Market have launched a campaign to ensure that no children in and around the t

Volunteers in Downham Market launched a campaign to ensure that no children in and around the town went hungry. - Credit: Archant

The project, which is led by Harriet Tunnicliff, Frances Rayner, Alex Coates, from the Downham Market Food Bank, and Anna Foster, from the Swan Youth Project, provided two food parcels for 98 children over Christmas and was backed by the community and local businesses.

Following its success, organisers will now launch a winter support scheme on Monday, January 18 to ensure support is still in place for children in the area during school holidays and closures.

Mrs Rayner said: "There are many barriers that put people off asking for help. To start with many find it undignified, especially if this is the first time in their life that they have been in need. 

'No Child Goes Hungry this Christmas' campaign in Downham Market sees more than 95 young people supported through scheme...

'No Child Goes Hungry this Christmas' campaign in Downham Market saw 98 children supported through the scheme during the Christmas period. - Credit: Anna Foster

"It is tough times for everyone and it's hard to keep asking for support but we hope that everyone will see the real merit in this scheme and understand the difference that it makes to a child's life when their tummies are not continually rumbling."

The winter scheme is set to continue until at least the end of February half-term and current funds will allow the project to run for around five to six weeks.

Mrs Rayner said: "We know that there are many families struggling due to furlough, lack of financial support due to being self-employed, redundancy, low income and generally struggling to make ends meet."

No Child Goes Hungry winter scheme to be launched. 

No Child Goes Hungry winter scheme to be launched. - Credit: Frances Rayner

The team are appealing for help with food parcels, which are mainly made up of fresh foods for breakfast and lunch.

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A list of the items required include: cereal, milk, bread, butter, cheese, yoghurts, apples, cucumber, crisps and squash.

The cost per child is around £7.50 and donations of Tesco and Morrisons vouchers and produce are welcomed, although volunteers have said they have limited storage.

Anyone wanting to support the scheme or drop off donations can contact Mrs Rayner on francesrayner68@gmail.com

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