Charities may feed children if schools shut due to COVID-19

Feeding Britain, a charity led by the archbishop of Canterbury, may help feed children if schools are closed by coronavirus.

This follows fears that no free school dinners could leave up to 3 million children at risk of hunger.

Emergency programmes may be set up similar to those used to feed the poorest children during the summer holidays.

Another charity, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, is also “prepared to enter crisis mode”, while food projects in Bristol and Huddersfield said they were exploring how their schemes to feed hundreds of children in school holidays could be adapted to help cope with emergency closures.

“For so many families now, schools are the first line of defence against hunger,” said Andrew Forsey, the national director of Feeding Britain, whose president is the Most Rev Justin Welby. “In many cases it is breakfast as well as lunch, so if the schools close it’s two meals we have to find. There is early-stage planning going on around ensuring supplies of food and the extent of voluntary support that could be drawn upon if some schools do need to close.”

FareShare, a charity that distributes food to more than 700 holiday food projects, has said it wants to recruit more volunteers to tackle the fallout from coronavirus.

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