Over 500 requests made for emergency food hampers this half term

More than 500 requests have been made for emergency food hampers this half term across Fenland.

More than 500 requests have been made for emergency food hampers this half term across Fenland. - Credit: PA

Volunteers providing free food hampers for families in need this half term have been “overwhelmed” after receiving more than 500 requests.  

The March and District Community Action Team (MADCAT) and Fenland District Council will be distributing the emergency supplies across the region.  

A total of 344 packages are set for delivery in the March and Chatteris area and 235 will be sent out in the Wisbech and Whittlesey area.  

Twelve volunteer drivers will be delivering the food parcels – made up of essential meal ingredients – on Monday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16.  

“We are quite overwhelmed by the number of requests,” said Katherine Nightingale of MADCAT. 

“This is significantly more than we had imagined and are pleased that we are able to offer something to each family.” 

Hampers will include ingredients for jacket potatoes and vegetables for a soup or stew. 

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Fenland District Council’s ‘Active Fenland’ team are also creating hampers which will be delivered to schools in Wisbech and Whittlesey for collection.  

The hampers are all being funded by the Government’s ‘Winter Food and Fuel grant’. 

Where else is help available?  

There will be sandwich lunches available from Chat-Tea at St John’s Church hall in March on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of half term, along with their usual offer of hot evening meals which are now all delivered.  

Panini’s Coffee Shop will be offering sandwich lunches on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for collection.  

To order your sandwich lunch from either St John’s or Panini’s, visit: forms.gle/GiJsBfSmNK15CZme7 

Cambridgeshire County Council will be providing vouchers to all children who usually receive Free School Meals, for use during February half term. 

The £15 supermarket vouchers will be issued automatically by Friday, February 12; vouchers will be sent by email and text message to parents/carers. 

For more information, visit: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals  

Jonathan Lewis, director for education in Cambridgeshire, said: “Along with exercise, nutritious meals are essential for a child’s health, wellbeing and cognition.  

“Satisfying hunger is a basic need and no child should ever have to go hungry.  

“We recognise the extra financial pressures some families are facing due to Covid-19, and by providing them with Free School Meal vouchers during half term will hopefully alleviate some of those worries. 

“There are several additional ways we are providing support to families, and I would like to encourage families to reach out to their child’s school if they have any questions about the support that may be available to them via the Winter Grant Scheme.”