This community venue in Weston is handing out free packed lunches to children

this community venue in weston is handing out free packed lunches to children - This community venue in Weston is handing out free packed lunches to children

A community venue in Weston-Super-Mare is helping to feed children from struggling families after schools closed due to coronavirus.

Staff at The Stable, in Wadham Street, started making packed lunches on Monday (March 23) for local children who would usually get a free school meal.

Last Friday Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered schools to shut except to children of key workers as the government ramped up its response to coronavirus, culminating in the lockdown measures imposed on Monday.

The closures prompted concerns over how the most vulnerable pupils, who are usually entitled to free school meals, would continue to be fed during the crisis.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that some schools would still be able to provide children with meals. If their in-house caterers were not available, they have been advised to turn to third-party contractors.

But staff at The Stable in WSM have also stepped in to make sure children in the local area can have access to a packed lunch if they need it.

this community venue in weston is handing out free packed lunches to children 2 - This community venue in Weston is handing out free packed lunches to children

Staff at The Stable in Weston-super-Mare are handing out free packed lunches to children from struggling families (Image: The Stable)

Manager Jemma Coles said it was something they were considering setting up for the six-week summer holidays, but decided to move it forward in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’ve been trying to keep the team very small, with three or four people at the moment, so we can keep going as long as possible,” she added.

Ms Coles said the response from the community has been “amazing” with donations coming from large supermarkets and people dropping off food parcels.

On Monday, the first day of operation, The Stable handed out 120 packed lunches.

Following the stricter lockdown measures introduced by the Government on Monday night, the service changed from collection to delivery on Tuesday.

Anyone who needs a packed lunch for their children can call The Stable on 01934 315305 between 9am and 11.30am Monday to Friday.

These orders will then be delivered to people later in the day.

You can also get updates about the latest coronavirus news for Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos with our Facebook group

An update on The Stable’s Facebook page said: “We will be allowing some collections for those people that need to get hold of food earlier in the day, NHS staff etc with limited time available, but we would ask that you pay close attention to the government guidance before attempting to visit us unnecessarily.”

While the venue has had a lot of donations, Ms Coles added they are still desperate for more and are appealing for non-perishable lunchbox items, cereals and tupperware boxes.

A crowdfunder has also been set up for donations so The Stable can carry on purchasing food items, this has raised more than £800 in just a few days.

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