Image: Tasty meals for children and young people, served up by Pan Together during the pandemic.
In the light of the Government’s decision not to fund free school meal vouchers at Christmas during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, Pan Together – the community charity which exists to support and provide a community hub for the residents of East Newport – has agreed to do this for vulnerable children at its local school, Barton Primary, and is calling on Island businesses for support.
Pan Together, which has offered lifeline support services for local residents in need throughout the Coronavirus emergency, has decided it cannot stand aside at Christmas in a community where over one-third of children live in poverty – the highest level on the Island and more than double the England average.
Brodie: Will use up our reserves
Local Isle of Wight Councillor and charity trustee, Geoff Brodie, said,
“The Covid pandemic has been a period when Pan Together has had to really step up for our community. The trustees have agreed my proposal that we couldn’t not act in this instance either.
“We will, therefore, use up to the minimum £3,300 required from our charity’s reserves.”
“However, we are calling on local businesses which are surviving Covid to contribute something towards this amount if they can.”
Thomson: Delivered 1,114 no-cost hot meals to those in need
Rachel Thomson, Pan Together’s Community Centre Manager, said,
“In the 211 days from 18th March to 13th October 2020, we helped local people in 2,438 different ways. From 5th May to 28th August 2020, our volunteers and staff prepared and delivered 1,114 no-cost hot meals to local children and young people in real need who weren’t in receipt of free school meals before the lockdown but whose families’ circumstances changed dramatically since and had very limited other means of support.”
How you can help
“Unless the government reverses its decision and listens to Marcus Rashford and what’s needed on the ground, we will be providing a minimum of 110 local children with £30 meal vouchers so they are not the victims of Christmas holiday hunger.
“If anyone can make a donation to help us make a real difference during the festive season, please contact me on 01983 248170 or email [email protected] or visit the charity’s Facebook page.”
News shared by Rachel on behalf of Pan Together. Ed