A school from Barkerend has donated food to a local food bank as part of an annual tradition.
Byron Primary School has collected a heap of food for Bradford Central Foodbank as part of their autumn-winter harvest.
The school has worked with Bradford Central Foodbank for several years and before the pandemic, have taken children to the foodbank’s warehouse to give them an understanding of how the food that is collected is distributed and how it is sometimes used to cook a meal so that people can come in and get some hot food.
Despite not being able to go into the food bank or receive a talk by a volunteer of the group, the school still collected food to donate to the organisation.
The school gave tinned soup, tinned meat and fish, cereal, baked beans, pasta, and other long-life shelf staples.
The school donates to the foodbank every year as it is a way of teaching children the importance of helping and sharing and that some families may need a bit of help from time to time.
Assistant headteacher Sarah Gharbi said: “We try to do a lot of work as a school within our community and we have strong links with Bradford Central Foodbank. Before Covid-19, volunteers would come in and do presentations and talk about the work they do, and we have carried on the work through the pandemic.
“We collect food as part of our autumn harvest, but we carry it during the winter term. We have a lot of families in our community in need, including refugee families and so on.”
Pupils from year three run the appeal but the school collects from all year groups. The children are always excited to get involved with different charity projects and children elected on the school council often choose which charities to donate to, says Ms Gharbi.
On Friday, 3 December, the school had a £1 non-uniform day to raise money for refugees and migrants, a cause chosen by the school council.
Ms Gharbi added: “We find every year that our families are so generous and supportive. We have kept the relationship with the food bank, and we get regular updates from them – they share with us the amount of food we collected and how many families it can feed.
“For us as a school, it is important that children are taught about foodbanks and that some families face challenges. They might not always understand why but it is important that thinking about citizens of the future, children understand challenges in life and how as a community, we can help and support each other. This is why when we collect the donations, we talk to the children about why we are doing it.”
Last year Bradford Central Foodbank gave out 127,809 meals to 14,201 people. There are three Trussell Trust foodbanks in Bradford, and Bradford Central covers people living in BD1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 14.
Amy Tyson, a representative of Bradford Central Foodbank said: “Byron Primary school have been such generous donors, often giving a great amount of food during harvest time.
“In the last two harvest times, they have donated a total of 787.35KG to us, We are extremely grateful as altogether this would feed 131 people or provide 1,181 meals, which is absolutely amazing.”
A typical food parcel contains a minimum of three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable, tinned and dried foods that have been donated by the local community.
A typical food parcel includes breakfast cereal, soup, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, baked beans, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, instant mash, UHT milk, tea, coffee, tinned dessert, and biscuits. Fresh fruit and veg and bread, but this varies in quantity and type depending on what is donated.
The foodbank also adapts food parcels to suit dietary needs, providing specific parcels for a range of needs including halal or vegetarian parcels or people with diabetes or gluten intolerance.