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'We live week by week': More than 130 free meals served up over school holidays, Salvation Army reveals

PUBLISHED: 13:38 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:38 10 September 2019

Rebecca said:

Rebecca said: "We literally live week by week and month by month". Contributed by the Salvation Army

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More than 130 free lunches were served up to families who were struggling to make ends meet over the summer holidays.

Major Jenny Barwise (right) with members of the Lowestoft Community Church. Picture: Contributed by the Salvation ArmyMajor Jenny Barwise (right) with members of the Lowestoft Community Church. Picture: Contributed by the Salvation Army

Lowestoft South Salvation Army, on Carlton Road in the town announced they dished up 135 free two-course lunches to people struggling to survive throughout the school holidays.

The food in the school holidays project was initially launched in Lowestoft by Gunton Baptist Church.

However this year, a free breakfast or lunch was provided on Monday to Friday with help from the local Salvation Army churches as well as the Lowestoft Community Church, London Road Baptist Church and Red Oak Primary School.

Major Jenny Barwise, who leads The Salvation Army in Kirkley, said: "The summer is an expensive time. Families that usually benefit from free school meals have an extra cost and if parents are working, then they may need to pay for child care. There's also the additional expense of school uniform and shoes to think about when term starts again."

Rebecca pictured with her son for a meal. Picture: Contributed by the Salvation ArmyRebecca pictured with her son for a meal. Picture: Contributed by the Salvation Army

As well as offering the free meals, Major Barwise said the project hopes to bring the community together.

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"We don't want families to feel like they're receiving a hand out, though we don't expect anything in return. We want them to spend some quality time together and meet new people.

"We all sit and eat together and these shared tables offer the opportunity for parents to chat about things that might be troubling them such as the highs and lows of parenting during the long summer holidays," she said.

The meals were provided for families with school-aged children in need of support, however, there was no set criteria or proof required for a free meal.

Mother-of-two Rebecca attended the Friday lunches and the Tuesday breakfasts.

She said: "I didn't think we would be eligible because we are a working parent family but we literally live week by week and month by month. We don't have savings."

She said: "It's all healthy food and afterwards there are crafts for the children and one day there was a video with popcorn."

More information about the project can be found via Facebook.

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