Inspired by Marcus Rashford, a school in Scotland took action to make sure that no child went hungry.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Earlier this year, pictures of inadequate free school meals sparked conversations over coffee and, here in our school, we made a plan.
Inspired by Marcus Rashford and Grimsby teacher Zane Powles – who has delivered thousands of meals to families during the Covid pandemic – we committed to ensuring that no child in our school went hungry.
“We knew that respectful discretion was important to continue to encourage our families to take what food they needed. And, building on an existing scheme we called Community Table, we wanted to make something that was more reliable, consistent and sustainable for our families.
So we took a lunch trolley, went to Asda and bought £60 worth of food – the items we, as parents, thought would be useful. We packed the trolley with cereal, soup, pasta, rice, biscuits and beans. We wheeled it to the top of the school drive, then tweeted that it was there. It wasn’t a perfect plan, but getting started was more important than over-deliberating.
The items on the trolley went quickly and were replenished with donations from staff and parents. We very soon realised that there was a desire within our school community to keep it going – it was making a difference.
Everyone wanted to help the families in our community and we had provided a means to do so. We would fill the trolley each morning before starting work, and the janitor wheeled it up the hill, where it remained until the pupils left at the end of the day.
Then something amazing happened. We reached out for more help and it was given – and organisations even started contacting us to offer funding and help.
Within three months, the trolley went from a sketchy idea to a vital part of the local community. We now have funding from a number of sources, which gives us the ability to ensure the trolley is there every day and the community has the security of knowing a meal is not far away.
Again, we did not wait to make it perfect. We started with a planter held on with coat hangers – which has evolved into a lovely wooden tray that a grandfather of a pupil made for us.
A simple desire within our school to take action and reach out was all we needed to make a difference. We are passionate about normalising the use of what we now call our Care and Share trolley, building on the school’s existing community spirit – and showing our children and families that we are here to help.”