FESTIVE fund-raisers have urged city residents to give what they can to help raise £6,000 to ensure no child goes hungry in Worcester this Christmas.
The calls came as Warndon Parish Residents Food Drive chiefs revealed more than 400 children in neighbouring areas and many more across the city would be at risk of food poverty during the holiday.
A number of families will be £15 per child worse off owing to the six days over the school holidays which are not covered by free school meal vouchers worth £2.50 per day.
Warndon Parish Council have pledged to assist with covering the cost of the free school meals relief for those who qualify within Warndon Villages with a £1,000 grant.
But caring chiefs want to extend their help to support children in the neighbouring areas of Warndon and Ronkswood and have set themselves the ambitious four-figure target.
Rev Diane Cooksey from St Nicholas Church together with Emily Bond who started the Warndon Parish Residents’ Food Drive, volunteer Claire Pezzini-Rhodes and parish council char Robyn Norfolk have set up a Go Fund Me page in their plea for donations.
The target amount of the fund-raiser is £6,000 which would be just enough to help the 400 people in the neighbouring wards to Warndon Villages.
Should they succeed in their Christmas challenge they hope to be able to help more people in Worcester this Christmas.
Rev Cooksey said: “I am delighted the church is able support this bid by local people to support families at this challenging time.
“Christmas is as much a time for giving as it is receiving and we should be giving all we can to help where we see a need.”
Emily Bond said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the residents of Warndon parish this year, who donate items for Worcester Foodbank every week.
“However, as we will have a break in collecting over the festive holiday, we would be really grateful for donations to help us with this new idea.”
Robyn Norfolk, chair of Warndon Parish Council, said: “During the first lockdown of this pandemic, we were very aware of delays in the national food voucher scheme. It is only right for us to help residents who are vulnerable and, in many cases, suffering significant hardship. I am pleased that we are able to provide some much-needed help to neighbours.”
All of the money donated will be given to local schools by Ian Fantom, treasurer of St Nicholas Church, to be distributed at their own discretion, and to fill food parcels which will be available to pick up from the church over the festive period.
Any remaining funds will be donated to Oasis Community Hub in Warndon.
Visit www.gofundme.com/f/fundraising-for-christmas-free-school-meals for more.