Two teachers deliver hundreds of daily food packages to vulnerable children

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Two teachers deliver hundreds of daily food packages to vulnerable children

Amanda Barbanel and Jacqueline Harris from Borehamwood aim to hand out one thousand 'nutritious and plant-based' parcels to families by the end of the month

Amanda Barbanel and Jacqueline Harris with their food packages
Amanda Barbanel and Jacqueline Harris with their food packages

Two teachers from Borehamwood have launched food package deliveries to vulnerable children in the area. 

With the government at the centre of  a row over inadequate free school meal parcels, Amanda Barbanel and Jacqueline Harris  wanted to offer children more nutritious fare.

Over the past 10 days, the pair have delivered 350 bags of food to vulnerable children through their project, entitled Give. Help. Share, and aim to provide 1,000 by the end of the month. 

A typical bag includes a loaf of bread, rice, potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, vegan jerky, cooking sauces, oils and spices, plant-based snacks and a drink as well as fresh fruit. All parcels are vegan to cater for all.

“We have been inundated by suppliers and by demand, so we started providing nutritious snacks bags to complement the government’s offerings and keep children full,” the pair said. 

Although they conceived the idea towards the end of last year, “it really magnified over lockdown”. 

Amanda and Jacqueline are offering  nutritious food for schoolchildren

As well as food, the teachers are keen to educate children and families about healthy eating. “We also provide children with ingredients and simple recipe cards so they are able to make some of the food themselves,”
they told Jewish News. 

As the pair, who work at a north London Jewish school, started delivering to schools, headteachers from local schools started getting in touch. 

As word got out, the teachers – who are studying to be headteachers – were invited to take a tour of the Warburtons factory. 

“We filled up an entire car with bread rolls, crumpets and teacakes,” said Harris. It enabled them to provide the kids with breakfast bags.

Similarly, they were invited to a restaurant that had to close because of Covid-19 where staff donated fresh produce for the children.

But despite the support, the teachers say they are still topping up the supplies from their own pockets each day to ensure the packages contain the right kind of food groups.

School meal food that emerged on social media, and led to footballer Marcus Rashford criticising the government

Last week, pictures emerged of the food parcels children relying on government support were receiving at home. Marcus Rashford, the football star and activist who has been campaigning for free school meals to be provided during holidays, branded the packages “unacceptable”. 

The pair said: “The money the government has provided for free school meals is a decent amount. Yet the pictures of the meal offerings reported by the media shows the government is not using the money well.”

“We would like more donations and to raise awareness so more schools get in touch and we will provide for them.”


Nutritious and yummy food delivered by Amanda and Jacqueline’s initiative


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