Generous schoolkids formed a human food chain along the streets of Sheffield - to pass down tins and canned goods they’d collected for needy local families.
Nine hundred pupils from All Saints Catholic High School stood shoulder-to-shoulder along a one-mile route to pass their donations from their school on Granville Road to St Vincent’s Furniture Store on Queens Road.
The 3,000 items of non-perishable food, which the school has been gathering for six months, will now be sent out by staff at the store to needy Sheffield families.
“One in five adults in Sheffield will go to bed hungry tonight, so that their children don’t have to,” explained store manager Lorraine Healy.
“It’s a shocking statistic and we’re so grateful to All Saints school for their support today – it will make such a difference to this community.
St Vincent’s – which has been open in the city for nearly three decades – has been active in supporting its community for many years.
Lorraine said: “For a long time now we’ve taken donations of furniture from the people of Sheffield, which we pass on to families that are referred to us – that are either coming out of homelessness or are in a vulnerable state.
“This donation from All Saints school means that, for a while, we will be able to include a food parcel in our deliveries to these families, which will be such a blessing and help them just that little bit more.”
It was a case of third time lucky for the event, which has had to be cancelled twice previously due to bad weather.
“The first time was snow, the second was torrential rain – and today’s weather is beautiful so it was obviously meant to be,” laughed Carolyn Siddall, deputy head at All Saints school.
“The good news is that we’ve managed to collect more tins since we postponed the earlier attempt. The bad news is we’re down from the 1400 kids we were originally meant to have, to 900, due to school leavers.
“It’s meant a little more long-armed stretching than we had anticipated but it’s still worked really well.”
The pupils were joined by others from neighbouring school Seven Hills, as well as a number of sixth formers and staff from All Saints.
Carolyn added: “We want to show our pupils how important it is to be generous and active in their own local community.
“St Vincent’s already do such a fantastic job, providing furniture and bedding to families that need help, we wanted to contribute.”
St Vincent’s recycled furniture programme helps around 2,500 people in the city every year and sees thousands of items of furniture delivered free of charge to Sheffield homes.
Lorraine added: “There are some great kids in Sheffield and this event today proves it - we’re so thankful for their energy and support.”