Feed a Family: Thoughtful pupils help people in need with donations of food

Thoughtful pupils from a specialist school for children with dyslexia have collected hundreds of items for a food bank.

Pupils Jacob Blakemore, Tom Walton and Cody Moore
Pupils Jacob Blakemore, Tom Walton and Cody Moore

Children of all ages from Maple Hayes Dyslexia School in Burntwood, along with their parents and teachers, have helped make sure those less fortunate than them are looked after during the festive season.

Hundreds of items of food, drink and even some gifts were collected during a special drive over the past few weeks for those living in and around Lichfield.

The pupils took time out of their studies to sort through the items they had collected, to make sure they were distributed to Lichfield Foodbank, based at Wade Street Church Office in the centre of town.

The food donations will be used to support people across the area who are struggling to put food on the table this Christmas and could be forced to use a food bank over the festive period. People are being asked to donate long-life items such as tinned potatoes and vegetables, tinned ham, mince pies and treats to contribute to the 600 Christmas food bags which the food bank anticipates will be needed this year.

Headteacher Dr Daryl Brown said he was really proud of their efforts and said it would be a cause they would continue to support.

“Especially after such a hard two years of the pandemic along with the poor weather we have been experiencing, and with Christmas upon us, it’s important that we all think of those less fortunate than ourselves.

“The food bank is a perfect way for us to give a little back to the community we live and work within, and our pupils, their parents, families and our staff went above and beyond this year to create a good donation. We will make sure we continue to do this well into the new year, and hope our support also encourages others to do so too. It only takes us all just buying a couple of extra items for each shop, to donate and make a difference,” he added.

l This year the Express & Star is once again running its Feed a Family appeal to ensure nobody goes hungry this Christmas.

We’re asking our generous band of readers to support charities working tirelessly to support those struggling to put food on the table.

For the full list of donation points and the items charities regularly need, see expressandstar.com/news/feed-a-family.

What to donate

Any Christmas items need to have ‘best before’ dates beyond December.

Some food banks will not accept festive items after a certain date to ensure it can all be distributed in time for Christmas.

The food must not contain any alcohol (bear in mind for mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas puddings and chocolates including selection boxes).

Cupboard essentials

  • Breakfast cereal (preferably non-sugared)

  • Milk (UHT or powder, preferably semi-skimmed)

  • Jam, marmalade

  • Fruit juice (long-life)

  • Small jars of coffee

  • Hot chocolate

  • Tinned meat (ham, corned beef, Spam)

  • Tinned ready meals (chilli, meatballs, stew)

  • Tinned vegetarian ready meals (curry, ratatouille, macaroni cheese)

  • Packets of mashed potato/tinned potatoes

  • Tinned vegetables

  • Tinned fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon & sardines)

  • Pasta

  • Rice

  • Pasta sauce/cooking sauces

  • Tinned fruit (in juice preferably)

  • Tinned rice pudding/custard

  • Healthy snacks (small boxes of raisins/apricots)

  • Biscuits, crackers, crispbreads

Toiletries

  • Deodorants

  • Shampoo

  • Shower Gel

  • Soap

  • Toothbrushes

  • Toothpaste

  • Sanitary towels

Where to donate

Black Country Foodbank

The Storehouse, Albion Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3EE. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm. Telephone: 01384 671250. Website: blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk. Deadline for Christmas food is December 3.

The Well

Unit 16, Wulfrun Trading Estate, Stafford Road, Wolverhampton WV10 6HH. Open Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 1pm. Please call 01902 256523 before you deliver. Sainsbury’s in Wombourne, Perton and Wednesfield have donation points as well as Asda in Wolverhampton. Website: thewellwolverhampton.co.uk.

Good Shepherd Ministry, Wolverhampton

Food and toiletries can be donated at Sainsbury’s in Chapel Ash. If you have a large number of items to donate, call 01902 399955 to arrange delivery or collection. Website: gsmwolverhampton.org.uk.

Harvest Community Food Bank

New Testament Church of God, New Trust Centre, 1 Wolverhampton Road (on the corner of Woden Road & Wolverhampton Road), Heath Town, Wolverhampton, WV10 0PD. Open Fridays between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Referral is not necessary but proof of address is required. Telephone: 01902 453190. Email: info@ntcgharvesttemple.org.uk. Website: ntcgharvesttemple.org.uk.

Excel Church Food Bank

Wolverhampton Street, Bilston, WV14 0LT. 01902 402273. Open Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 5pm. excelchurch.org.uk/foodparcel.

Cannock and District Food Bank

Coniston Hall, Cecil Street, Chadsmoor, WS11 5HD. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm. Telephone: 01543 422394. Website: cannockdistrict.foodbank.org.uk.

Rugeley Food Bank

Rugeley Community Centre, Burnthill Lane, Rugeley, WS15 2HX. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. Tesco also have a collection point, as do most Rugeley churches. Telephone: 07528 447504. Website: rugeley.foodbank.org.uk.

Walsall North Food Bank

Pelsall Methodist Church, Chapel Street. Open Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm, and Fridays 1pm to 3pm. Telephone: 07582 869895. Website: walsallnorth.foodbank.org.uk.

Bloxwich and Blakenall Food Bank

Blakenall Village Centre, Thames Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LZ. Open Thursdays 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07747 301374. Website: bloxwichblakenall.foodbank.org.uk.

Great Barr Food Bank

St Bernard’s Church, Broome Avenue Great Barr B43 5AL. Open Fridays 12pm to 3pm. Telephone: 0121 3575399. Website: greatbarr.foodbank.org.uk.

Smethwick Food Bank

Holy Trinity Church, Church Hill Street, Smethwick, B67 7AH. Tuesdays and Fridays, 12pm to 2pm. Telephone: 0121 5170141. Website: smethwick.foodbank.org.uk.

Quinton and Oldbury Food Bank

St Boniface Church, Quinton Road West, Quinton, B32 2QD. Open Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07732 157619. Website: quintonoldbury.foodbank.org.uk.

Kidderminster Food Bank, based at the Swan Centre

Food can be donated at Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys in Kidderminster, Tesco and Co-op in Stourport. Website: kidderminster.foodbank.org.uk.

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