Chipping Sodbury food service blasts MPs decision on child meals

A support group based in Chipping Sodbury that offers free meals and food packages to families has slammed the Government decision to not extend free school meals to children outside term time.

Community service Family Food 4 Free is now feeding around 70 people every day, with numbers growing as more job losses occur. The team at FF4F say the Government are ‘not seeing the families struggles and pain.’

The group’s pop-up shop is a lifeline to many families that have found themselves struggling financially following the pandemic.

The team also send out emergency and isolation boxes that are requested daily to families in need.

Founder Aimee Waters said: “We are trying to meet all requests but we are struggling.

“More and more people now need our services as the impact of the pandemic is causing job losses daily.”

The group do not receive any funding, all of their food comes from local M&S, Tesco and Waitrose stores and donations from generous members of the community.

The team are in desperate need of long-life items as the food they receive from the stores is surplus and usually close to or past its best before date.

Volunteers have stepped up to support the group by helping to create meals, bake cakes and to collect and deliver food parcels to vulnerable families.

Aimee and her husband Daniel run the service seven days a week, alongside their own jobs and their four children.

She added: “To hear the Tories have voted against free school meals in half term and over Christmas, to us, is mind blowing, they are not seeing the problem or feeling family’s struggles and pain.

“Most days we have around fifteen families socially distanced, queuing before opening time in the rain, they are not doing this out of choice, they have no other option.

“We at Family Food 4 free have found the decision disappointing and now there’s no doubt we will feel the pressure as will all community groups over the UK.

“I would like to ask the MPs, if you cant fund the families directly, can you find some funding to help the community groups, these children need you!”

To donate or use the service at FF4F go to 33 Woodman’s Road, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6DW or contact thhe group via their Facebook page: Family Food 4 Free.

Gazette Series Gloucestershire