Nearly 500 free school meals given out by Eastbourne church

Hundreds of packed lunches were supplied by a church in Old Town during the half term week.
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St Elisabeth’s Church supplied 473 lunches to children in Old Town, a part of Eastbourne that has six primary and secondary schools.

The church said it also provided 100 activity packs and a large amount of food cupboard essentials to those that needed them.

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Church manager Mandy Mulford, said, “For me the way the community pulled together in giving food donations, money and their time was nothing short of mind blowing. It was incredibly heartwarming to watch as complete strangers came together to help people out in such a specific way and with such short notice.

Alex Mulford with some of the supplies SUS-201111-131620001Alex Mulford with some of the supplies SUS-201111-131620001
Alex Mulford with some of the supplies SUS-201111-131620001

“A lot of new friendships were formed between families that came in for packed lunches and between the volunteers too.”

Councillors Peter Diplock, Jonathan Dow and Amanda Morris donated £250 to the church scheme through Eastbourne Borough Council’s devolved budget scheme. This came after the government’s refusal to fund free meals during the school holiday.

In a joint statement the councillors said, “The decision not to fund free school meals during these holidays created a need in Old Town. We were pleased we could help fulfil this need through St Elisabeth’s Church and are delighted to see the government’s recent U-turn on this issue.”

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Mandy said, “We are hoping - Covid dependent - to do a three sittings of a full Christmas meal at St Elisabeth’s for the families we saw over half term. We are also working out the logisitics of running a similar daily lunch project over the school holidays too.”

She said information about future schemes can be found on St Elisabeth’s Facebook page.