Food bank launches holiday lunch scheme to stop children on free schools meals going hungry through the summer

Hebburn Helps founders Angie Comerford, left, and Jo Durkin, prepare lunch bags.
Hebburn Helps founders Angie Comerford, left, and Jo Durkin, prepare lunch bags.

Hard-up parents are being offered a helping hand to feed their children during the summer holidays.

Voluntary food bank Hebburn Helps has launched a summer holiday lunch scheme, which gives youngsters a free packed lunch.

People are struggling financially these days.

Jo Durkin

The group, which was established last year, is based in the spare room of Sew In Stitches, in St John’s Precinct, Hebburn, which is owned by Jo Durkin.

Mrs Durkin, along with her team of volunteers, are now on the lookout for donations to aid their lunch project.

She said: “Many parents benefit from their children having free school meals during term times.

“But once the six weeks holiday comes then there’s an extra five meals a week they have to find and it can be a struggle for some.”

Mrs Durkin, a mum of five, believes the project will be very popular with mums and dads.

She said: “Last year we did it, but we didn’t publicise it and we still handed out five lunches every day.

“Now that people are aware of the scheme I think it’s going to be a lot more popular.

“It’s a real issue, people are struggling financially these days, a lot has to do with the Government changing benefit rules, but they are finding it more difficult to make ends meet.”

Each lunch will contain a sandwich, drink, piece of fruit and treat.

To donate any items which could be used, people can call into the shop on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 9am and 5pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10am and 2pm.

Or call Mrs Durkin on 07450 656 492.