A café, bar, events space and dance school in Margate town has stepped up to help with a free school meals hamper scheme being run by Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet.
Our Kitchen, headed up by Sharon Goodyer, trustees and volunteers, will give hampers to every family with children eligible for free school meals after securing £45,000 grant funding from Kent County Council.
The hampers are available from the Kitchen’s ‘food club’ 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 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.
Silvers, which is near to the Our Kitchen Margate venue, has stepped in as a site for people to collect from. It is based at 59 High Street.
In Ramsgate Our Kitchen is supplying the hampers from St George’s church hall. Both sites are open from 10am until 9pm, (3pm on Sunday, April 4).
No documentation is needed to receive the hamper, people just complete a form to confirm their child normally receives free school meals.
Silvers is run by dancer and businesswoman Charlotte Silver and fiancé Jack Packman, Margate carnival organiser and Social Enterprise Kent staff member.
They said: “It is so important that we support the local community and young people. Silvers is located in the centre of the community and as a business that provides young people opportunities at Silver Slipper (dance school) we felt it is important to help an amazing projects such as this.
“We will always support people like Sharon who give so much to the community and we are only pleased to help where we can.”
Hamper collections opened today (April 5) and will run across the holidays until April 18.
There will be fresh deliveries each day so there are no concerns that supplies will run out.
Sharon 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.