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Dedicated volunteers deliver free school meals to Dudley pupils

Volunteers have been praised for delivering nearly 6,000 lunches in just over a week to pupils in Dudley who would usually receive free school meals.

Volunteers delivered thousands of free school meals to children in Dudley

The mammoth effort to ensure no child goes hungry during the coronavirus crisis was co-ordinated by Dudley Council, Dudley Schools, Dudley Catering Services and Dudley Council for Voluntary Services (DCVS).

Around 40 people took part each day over eight days, with more than 70 members of staff from the council giving up their time alongside volunteers from DCVS.

The deliveries of 5,869 meals supported 25 primary and secondary schools while voucher schemes were put in place.

Other schools made their own arrangements, which included either dropping off meals or preparing food for families to pick up.

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The teams followed government guidance during the deliveries, providing hand sanitiser for volunteers and observing social distancing.

Voucher systems will be in place from April 20 after the Easter holidays and will give families £15 per eligible child per week to spend on food at supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "This is a really good example of people coming together at a time of need to ensure that no child in the borough goes hungry while the government’s voucher scheme is put in place.

"We’ve seen council staff volunteer their time across all departments and services, from the mayor’s driver to social workers, from public health to housing.

"They’ve all clubbed together and what they have achieved is nothing short of amazing.

"I know they have been really gratefully received on the doorsteps by families in the borough.

"I would like to extend that by personally thanking each and every one of them, along with the volunteers from Dudley CVS, headteachers and staff at Dudley Schools and the members of Dudley Catering Service."

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