Littlehampton school staff step in to feed families after government stops holiday free school meals

Teaching assistants at a Littlehampton school have been praised for stepping in to feed local families affected by food poverty.

Pam Fowler, who works with year two at River Beach Primary School, organised a team to deliver food parcels during the October half-term, after the Government said its free school meals programme would no longer be extended beyond term time.

Concerned at the likely impact of that decision, Pam used Facebook to reach out to school families, asking them to contact her directly if they were concerned about feeding their children during half-term.

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Pam said: “We know what it’s like to be in a similar situation and just wanted to give something back to our school community.”

Pam Fowler and the team of teaching assistants who delivered food to families in need in Littlehampton during the October half-term

Several families sought help and Pam organised a team of 11 teaching assistants, who not only delivered food throughout the week but also funded it themselves.

Dave Ayers, head teacher, said: “River Beach is a wonderful community and the fact that Pam and our TA team chose to work in this way to support our families in need really demonstrates this quality.

“This amazing group has gone above and beyond, and I am so proud of them and their incredible sense of kindness.”

The teaching assistants’ kindness has seen further support gathered and food packages for families in need will now be extended to the Christmas holidays

Pam said the group had received offers of help from across the school community and from Schoolsworks, the academy trust to which the school belongs.

Donations have exceeded £350, which will be used to support River Beach families over the Christmas period, as needed.

Chris Seaton, chief executive of Schoolsworks, said: “River Beach was one of the first schools to join our multi-academy trust and the whole team are a real pleasure to work with.

“Our offices are based on River Beach’s school site and as soon as we heard about the work of Pam and her team, we wanted to celebrate this extraordinary act.

“Since then, staff from across our trust have been keen to help by donating food and funds so that families don’t face the awful prospect of struggling to feed children during school holidays.”