While the debate over free school meals for vulnerable children continues to rage, local newsrooms have stepped in to support their communities.
The Hull Daily Mail is among a slew of titles that have launched initiatives to support readers in their areas affected by food poverty, as Behind Local News reports.
“At 10pm on Friday, the paper’s website HullLive urged readers to help readers in its area who are directly affected by food poverty.
“The title asked readers to give a small financial donation to help FareShare Hull & Humber which distributes surplus food to 170 community-based organisations across the region
“Just 24 hours later the ‘Give us your lunch money!’ GoFundMe appeal target was hit thanks to a very generous bumper donation of £700 made by an anonymous donor. More than 100 readers had donated in 24 hours.
“HullLive Editor Jamie Macaskill said: ‘The response has been fantastic and we’re delighted to have hit the target in just a day.
‘There is a real passion here to help those most in need.’
“FareShare in Hull helps groups supporting local children and families so this will make a real difference right in the heart of our communities.
“Thanks so much to everyone who has donated and those who will continue to help.”
“The fundraising initiative was inspired by Manchester United player Marcus Rashford, who had urged ministers to keep funding free school meals to children over the half-term holiday. A House of Commons vote last week rejected the move, after Conservative MPs refused to back the move.
“The outcry which followed has been reported across the country, with many regional newspapers splashing with the story on Saturday.
“In Mansfield, MP Ben Bradley drew a lot of attention after he responded to Rashford’s pleas on Twitter by saying it could ‘increase dependency’ on the state — prompting a mixed reaction in a vox pop in the Mansfield Chad, his local paper.
“Community action has been covered extensively across the country.
“BirminghamLive mapped every business helping out. Cafes offering free food in Teesside are banning Tory MPs at the same time, reported GazetteLive. In Sunderland, a tea room is offering free meals, while the Yorkshire Evening Post detailed dozens of venues across the city offering to help.”
Pictures: Behind Local News