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For some families, the prospect of the school summer holidays and a six week break from free school meals can be a huge worry. Local causes across the country support these families, such as Dundee Bairns in Scotland, which benefits from Co-op Members’ support as part of the Local Community Fund.
But, in the Co-op National Members’ Council, we wanted to go a little further.
At the Co-op Community Space in Ham Road, Shoreham we set up a free lunch event on weekdays throughout the school holidays, for families on low incomes.
Working with local Co-op stores and community
As the Chair of Management of the Community Space and an elected Co-op Members’ Council representative, I worked closely with our local Co-op stores to ensure we had a plentiful supply of healthy balanced meals.
Ham Road’s Co-op store provided the bread and sandwich fillings, and Upper Shoreham Road’s Co-op store provided fruit. We’ve also had the support of The Woodcraft Folk, a co-operative children’s organisation, who staffed the scheme and provided us with crisps and cake.
Tables and chairs have been set up in our community space so that families can come in and enjoy their lunch together.
So far the free lunch event has been very popular with over 300 people coming through the door in the first few weeks of opening. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to help these families, as there is clearly a need for groups such as this.
As a Council Member on Co-op’s National Members’ Council I enjoy being able to help my local community with the support of the Co-op. So far our Co-op Community Space has made a big difference to local families and I look forward to seeing what other opportunities we can provide.
Co-op National Members’ Council Member