Free school meals for underprivileged children in Harrow

Monday 28th December 2020 08:40 EST

On Wednesday 23rd December, volunteers of the Bhaktivedanta Manor community gathered in the kitchens of the Avanti Schools to cook 5000 nutritious free meals for the underprivileged children across Harrow. The volunteers strictly followed all social-distancing rules as frozen meals were made ready for collection from a hub at the Avanti Secondary School, Wemborough Road.

The scheme is funded by Bhaktivedanta Manor and the Avanti School communities with a major contribution from the Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community (UK). 

In the meantime, in his attempt at ending child poverty footballer Marcus Rashford MBE and the Child Food Poverty Taskforce have launched a new website ( with two main aims. It helps vulnerable families and children to find support over the Christmas holidays via an interactive map that signposts to the available local support in their area. Local authorities, businesses, food banks, NGO’s and charities and sporting organisations have all signed up, presenting their offers of food support to young people and families throughout the winter period and beyond. The website also contains information on how people can offer support, either through donating money or volunteering.

In a statement, Marcus Rashford, said “Following the Government investment, it was important to me that we supported by communicating on the help available in local areas, working closely with Local Authorities, so that our vulnerable families know where to turn when faced with the toughest winter on record. In partnership with Co-op and Google, we have developed a central hub for those who need help and those who want to help. That second function was really important to me – everyone has a role to play in ending child food poverty in the UK and we wanted to support those who want to make a difference. There is still so much more to be done but the least children deserve this year, after loss and disruption, is a Christmas dinner on the table.”

Several major UK food businesses and members of the Child Food Poverty Task Force have rallied together to tackle child hunger this winter, with the website being a central point for information on support schemes available. The website has been built by digital agency 89up with support from PLMR and Web Geo Services. It was funded by Co-Op and Google. Ongoing funding will be provided by the Rapid Relief Team.

The Government recently announced £170 million was to be given to Local Authorities in the emergency winter grants scheme, as the country prepares for one of the most challenging Christmas periods ever with millions struggling to feed their families. The #endchildfoodpoverty website includes details and links in order for people to access the support being offered by their local council.  

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