No one should have to choose between electricity and food. Sadly, this is a decision that more and more families are having to make.
Last year, food banks in Swindon experienced record demand. At Rodbourne Cheney, we believe that no one should suffer from food poverty. After becoming a registered provider for vouchers, which can be issued to families in need for them to exchange for food, we decided to get everyone in the school community involved in helping the local food bank.
The food bank is run by the Swindon Food Collective, a registered charity with the stated mission of reducing the impact of food poverty on people in crisis in the Swindon and district area.
In order to help our pupils better understand how the food bank helps individuals and families in need, we organised for them to visit the local Swindon Food Collective distribution centre at St Mary’s Church in Cheney Manor.
Children were encouraged, if they were able, to bring an item of dry or tinned food. The school also provided items so that every pupil had something to give.
Lisa Davies, principal, said: “Rodbourne Cheney Primary School has a great sense of community and as a result we want our children to have a sound understanding of how they can help and support others, as well as receiving support from their community if they ever need it.”
“The Swindon Food Bank is a fantastic organisation that helps many Swindon families, and by taking groups of children from our school to visit it, we provide them with a greater understanding of the work the charity and volunteers do. The children who went really enjoyed their visit.”
Hayley, year 6 pupil, said: “I really enjoyed visiting the food bank and learning about the work that they do. The volunteers were really nice. They even had a band playing gentle music so the whole atmosphere was very welcoming.”
At our school, we are not afraid to introduce our children to some of the more difficult aspects of the modern world. We believe it is important for our pupils to understand and appreciate the hard work that organisations such as the Swindon Food Collective do to make sure everyone has enough to eat. We hope that they are encouraged to spread the word about the amazing service provided by food bank volunteers.