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Cricklewood primary school feeding the community hot meals during half term

PUBLISHED: 10:35 28 October 2020

Mora headteacher Kate Bass in the rainbow mask giving out food donated by The Akshaya Patra Foundation

Mora headteacher Kate Bass in the rainbow mask giving out food donated by The Akshaya Patra Foundation

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A Cricklewood primary school has gone a step further during half term to feed the community as well as pupils.

Lyla and Noah Rees with mum Jessica at Mora Primary School which is giving out free hot meals during half term. Picture: Kate BassLyla and Noah Rees with mum Jessica at Mora Primary School which is giving out free hot meals during half term. Picture: Kate Bass

Staff at Mora Primary School are giving out hot meals from its premises in Mora Road until the end of the week.

Interim head teacher Kate Bass was approached by Watford-based company The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF), which offered to provide 100 meals a day for free over half term.

The government voted against providing free meals during the half-term break, a proposal aimed to reduce the negative impact of the Covid pandemic on poorer children, which Ms Bass said was “shocking”.

“It’s just shocking they can leave families to flounder,” she said.

Staff in the The Akshaya Patra Foundation cooking food for kids during half term.Staff in the The Akshaya Patra Foundation cooking food for kids during half term.

“Brent is a caring borough and is one of the councils providing vouchers for families.”

Every day a staff member is driving up to Watford to collect the meals.

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“We are providing fresh vegetable meals for anyone who needs it. Ours are children on the cusp, with many who don’t qualify for free school meals and families worry.

“People’s circumstances change all the time. We are seeing families who may not have needed the support before, need it now.

“And it’s not just school families, anybody can come and get it.”

She said TAPF initially set a £1 fee for each meal, but then chose to cover the cost over half term.

Ms Bass said it was “absolutely fantastic” and the giving of food “contagious”: “We have a parent working in a bakery who is donating bread everyday. We are all in this together, we can do it.

“The pandemic is bleak. Little pots of joy is what we want for our kids, for our families, for our community.

“It’s about opening up to the whole community and saying we’re here and sharing what we’ve got and then others will share what they have got and we will get through it.”

Bhawani Shekhawat, TAPF chief executive, said: “All that matters is that food is delivered and children don’t go hungry.”


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