Pupils food pilot scheme serves up helping hand

KIND-HEARTED pupils have served up hundreds of emergency food packages to help struggling locals.

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The school pupils have sent food packages to struggling local people
The school pupils have sent food packages to struggling local people

The young team at All Saints Secondary School, Glasgow run a community food initiative which collects and distributes necessary goods to the elderly and young families living in the Springburn area.

Since the project began in October, they have handed out more than 100 winter essentials bags to senior citizens, around 50 Christmas parcels to the homeless and 150 jars of baby food.

Praise for the project has gone all the way to Parliament after local MSP Paul Martin, a former pupil, raised a motion congratulating the school for its good work.

The food initiative is a pilot scheme, run by the school and led by the pupils. They identified the people who they thought were most in need in the area and organised food collections and distribution points.

All 950 pupils at the school have been involved in the project which is coordinated by a core group of around 60 youngsters, led by History teacher Amanda Madden.

Hundreds of food items have been donated so far and pupils from other departments, including media and drama have produced adverts and films following the work of the project.

From December to February they are running a 'winter outreach programme' to support vulnerable people through the cold weather.

The group has teamed up with local charitable organisations and run distribution centres at local church and community halls.

Councillor Gerry Boyle and Humza Yousaf MSP attended to help hand out the goodies.

Elizabeth, 16, has been involved in the work since the school organised their first collection as a one-off in 2012.

She has seen the effect poverty can have on families after her mother struggled to feed her and her older sister when they were younger children.

Elizabeth said: "My mum has gone through times she has had to sells things in the house to get food for my sister and I.

"Some people have to choose between buying electricity and heating and buying food.

"I wish my mum had had something like this.

"My mum wouldn't eat and ended up at seven stone - she would do anything to get my sister and I fed."

Elizabeth, who wants to be a social worker, said she has learned a lot from the project. She said: "I have learnt people can hide behind a smile even if they are finding things hard.

"With this initiative they can rest and they do not have to worry about feeding people because they have that."

Ms Madden said the pupils efforts were "tremendous".

She is hopeful that they will be able to expand the project. She said: "I am proud of the way in which the young people have engaged with the project.

"I think poverty is a sensitive issue and an emotive issue and all the pupils involved have been mature and sensible in their approach to talking about poverty."

Head teacher Peter Holmes said he was proud of the efforts the pupils were making in the community.

He added: "Sustain-ability is the big challenge of the project but I think we have a group of young people who are well up for that challenge and have relished it."

For more information about food donations visit www.allsaints-sec.glasgow.sch.uk/

matty.sutton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Education

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