Campaign to help feed vulnerable children in Sheffield more than doubles fundraising goal

More than £1,000 has been raised to help a charity food drive provide meals to vulnerable children in Sheffield – double it’s original fundraising goal.

Monday, 25th January 2021, 7:00 am

Food Works, an organisation which aims to ensure everyone in the city has access to healthy and sustainable food, has been able to hand out at least 300 meals last week alone thanks to the generous donations made through the ‘Feed the Children’ fundraiser.

The appeal was launched by Sheffield-based group Mental Mate, in partnership with Maverick Stars Trust and Food Works, with an original target of raising £500 to provide food parcels to children who may otherwise go without during lockdown.

Daniel Barton, of Mental Mate – a group that helps people with mental health problems through the power of boxing and talking – spoke to The Star about the cause and the growing need for the service as the Covid crisis continues.

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Daniel Barton from Mental Mate

He said: "If a parent goes into Food Works with a child, the child can either have one free meal or five for the working week. I was actually on free school meals growing up myself so I know what it is like from that perspective.

"A lot of children miss out as it’s only normally the people on Universal Credit with the children who get the free school meal vouchers.

"There’s quite a lot of children within Sheffield whose parents work or are single parents and don’t claim Universal Credit or don’t meet the criteria but still can’t afford to feed their children.

"Sometimes their parents are either too proud or earn a bit too much to claim but there are children who are still going hungry so we’re trying to target those as well.”

Volunteers at Food Works Sheffield have worked around the clock to feed residents during the coronavirus pandemic

The demand for the meals has been huge, so much so that the fundraiser will now remain open until the end of January to feed as many children as possible.

Daniel added: "We were going to close the fundraiser once we reached the target but the demand for the meals has outweighed that.

“It’s been pretty crazy to be honest and that’s just from people that know about it or are regular Food Works customers.

“There’s probably a lot more out there who don’t know they can get that free meal for their children."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.