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North Hampshire primary school pupils collect for 'Foodbank Friday'

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Children and parents of St Martin’s School in East End have dug into their pantries and their pockets for the school’s foodbank collection.

The primary school holds a collection on the first Friday of every half term in aid of West Berkshire Foodbank, with parents and the local community using the school as a drop off point.

On Friday, a whopping eight crates were filled full to the brim with dried goods which had been requested by the foodbank on its website.

St Martin's school pupils drop off goods for foodbank Friday
St Martin's school pupils drop off goods for foodbank Friday

Katy Bartlett, the school’s headteacher, said ‘Foodbank Friday’ – as it is known – had come about after the school council, comprising two students from each year, visited the foodbank’s warehouse to see how it operated and it had “hit home” with them.

She said: “It’s something the children have become really passionate about.

“I think it’s because they’ve been to the warehouse and seen how it’s organised and seen the food coming in and how it all gets sorted by date, and organised and sent out.

Fran Chamings of West Berks Foodbank with St Martin's pupils
Fran Chamings of West Berks Foodbank with St Martin's pupils

“It means more to them – they understand the impact they’re having.

“One of the things they found out from that visit was that traditionally we’ve always collected at harvest, which is great, but the foodbank get lots of stuff at harvest.

“They need regular donations throughout the year, which is where the idea of Foodbank Friday came from.

“We’re donating regularly rather than just at harvest.”

Mrs Bartlett said since beginning the event more than a year ago, it had become a real community event – and parents and villagers were beginning to prepare for Foodbank Friday when it rolls around.

She continued: “We’re in a little village here, and we always put a sign out in the village.

“We’ve got some of the local residents that also come and drop bits off in our crates in the morning, so it really is a community thing.

“We’re getting there with people remembering it’s the first week back of school – that means it’s Foodbank Friday.

“The children are also really good at going home and explaining to their parents as well and getting the parents involved and understanding why we’re doing it.

“We have a vision at this school, and part of that vision is about them knowing that they can make God’s world a better place, and this is one of the ways we can help them realise that.”

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