Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet is giving free food hampers to every family with children eligible for free school meals after securing £45,000 grant funding from Kent County Council.
The hampers will be available from the ‘food club’ venues in Margate and Ramsgate but people do not need to be a club member to get their hamper.
The grant comes from the government’s holiday activity and food fund.
Sharon Goodyer, who heads up the Our Kitchen project with trustees and volunteers, says the holiday project will offer the hampers, cookery sessions showing how to cook food that is available in the Our Shop sites and an Easter activity pack and activities.
She said: “Children in Thanet who have free school meals are entitled to come to one of our shops and get a hamper. These will have fresh meat and vegetables and items from our available stock, such as bread, cheese, milk, eggs, tinned foods. People will be able to build their own hamper. They will also be entitled to choose four of our executive chef frozen meals for every child entitled to free meals.
“Our cookery skills videos on facebook will show people how to cook a mackerel, how to make flapjacks and other things from the stock in our shop. There will also be the creative Easter boxes from Estelle Rosenfeld with activities and we will be sharing lots of things to do in the parks and on beaches from local people – such as bootcamps, hula hooping, seashore scavenger hunts, making dreamcatchers in the park. They may not necessarily be exercise but it is about getting out, having fun and starting to rebuild our social skills.”
Sharon says there are 5,000 children receiving free school meals in Thanet and emphasised that all are entitled to the hampers.
Eighty children will be part of a food and activity scheme at Drapers Mills school during the holidays but Sharon said there are 4,920 other youngsters who will be catered for with the Our Kitchen project – and the 80 children on the Drapers scheme are also welcome.
Sharon is asking people to claim their hamper across the two week Easter period so that social distancing can be used and hampers can be created. There will be fresh deliveries each day so there are no concerns that supplies will run out. The shops are also due to have extended hours so people can drop by in the evening.
Sharon is hoping for people to also volunteer to help at the Our Shops during the holiday in the evenings. She is also appealing for first aiders to help out during the activities.
Hampers will be available from April 6-April 18 at Our Shop at 51 High Street, Margate, will be open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am to 9pm.
Our Shop Ramsgate is at St George’s Church Hall in Broad Street and will be open from 10am to 9pm, Tuesday to Saturday.