As part of our ongoing effort to fight childhood hunger through #RANoHungryChild, Random Acts is embarking on a world tour of kindness acts. You have seen some of them already, in places like Germany and Australia. This time around, we’re connecting with schoolchildren in Manchester, UK.
Schools are among the most valuable resources a community has. They provide a safe environment for children to learn and grow, encouraging them to become the best versions of themselves. Teachers accomplish this in spite of numerous obstacles; children often come to school tired, hungry, and sometimes from unsafe living environments.
While a school’s primary responsibility is to educate children in the community, schools can become safe havens that meet various emotional and physical needs for those children. But the reality is that a majority of schools hold at least brief recesses during summer months, if not a complete break for the entire summer. This leaves those children without the support they and their families otherwise rely on.
Holidays in Wigan
In the town of Wigan, in Greater Manchester, UK, over 11,000 children live in poverty. That’s roughly 10% of the town’s population. Food banks like The Brick have stepped in to try and help local families most impacted by the summer holiday, but with their limited funds, they can only help so many families. Our Regional Representative-turned-Events Manager, Alex Vincent, reached out to The Brick to offer some assistance.
The Brick is a small project that delivers big results for the community it serves. It offers a variety of services to people who are homeless, in poverty or facing debt crisis. During school holidays, The Brick coordinates deliveries of meals to food-insecure children, usually consisting of non-perishable food as collected at their Food Bank. They also provide a wide variety of services to those experiencing homelessness, including crisis intervention and employment training. The Brick Shop takes things a step further by offering donated clothing free of charge to people referred by Wigan Council.
With Random Acts’ assistance, The Brick was able to increase the number of meals delivered to children this spring and summer, as well as provide a selection of fresh food for children to choose at the centre where the families picked their meals. With two major school holidays where struggling families needed support, Alex coordinated expanded meal deliveries and donations of fresh food for schoolchildren in April and July. Over the two weeks of this project, The Brick and Random Acts served over 100 individuals and families, and provided 50 packed lunches for delivery. Alex reminded us that attending a food bank can be daunting for families with children. So delivering food to those families helped take away some of the stress.
The Kindness Continues
Along with providing food for 70 people in Wigan, there were funds left in order to purchase pack lunches for future trips seaside with Fur Clemt. Fur Clemt (Lancaster slang for “very hungry”) is a small group of cafes in Wigan that use intercepted food that would otherwise be discarded as “waste”. The cafes are mainly staffed by volunteers who give their time to ensure customers have a positive experience when visiting.
We still have a number of stories to share with you about tackling food insecurity around the world. And remember, you can help! Even a small donation of non-perishable food to your local food pantry helps make a difference in your community. As always, we love hearing your ideas for tackling food insecurity or making a difference in other ways. We might even be able to help! Learn how to request support for your next act of kindness.