News

Enfield primary school launches foodbank to help struggling families

St Andrew’s in Enfield Town has stepped in to help amid the cost-of-living crisis, reports James Cracknell

At the new food pantry at St Andrew's Primary School in Enfield Town are chair of governors Theresa Davis, pupils Isaac and Albie, and Enfield North MP Feryal Clark
At the new food pantry at St Andrew’s Primary School in Enfield Town are (from left) chair of governors Theresa Davis, pupils Isaac and Albie, plus Enfield North MP Feryal Clark

An Enfield Town primary school has opened a foodbank for parents who are struggling to feed their children amid the worsening cost-of-living crisis.

Staff at St Andrew’s CofE Primary School in Churchbury Lane were moved to act when they realised that even families who did not qualify for free school meals were finding it difficult to afford food for packed lunches and meals at home.

This led the school to set up a small space where food and other essential donations can be stored. Parents are then invited to pick up the products they need for free without any need to register, so there is no stigma attached. As well as tins and packets of food the pantry supplies parents with cleaning, sanitary and personal hygiene products. There is even a fridge stocked with butter and milk, plus second-hand saucepans are available for anyone who needs them.

The St Andrew’s School foodbank was officially launched today (Thursday) by Enfield North MP Feryal Clark, who praised both staff and pupils for the initiative. She said: “It is a very difficult time for lots of people so it is very important for everyone to do their bit to help the community and it is amazing the work you are doing to open this pantry – what have you done is incredibly generous.”

The new food pantry at St Andrew's Primary School in Enfield Town
The new food pantry at St Andrew’s Primary School in Enfield Town has been stocked from donations by parents

Jude Statham, head of school at St Andrew’s, said the pantry had been supported with a small grant from Enfield Council and would now be in place for the whole winter. She told the Dispatch: “We have had collections in the past for Christmas hampers and our parents have been very generous, but this time we wanted to do something more permanent.


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“It is very discreet because it is not in the main school building, you can come here and take what you like.

“We have had an increase in children who are receiving free school meals but we are also seeing families that do not qualifying for them who are beginning to struggle. That is why we have opened it to all families.”

Feryal Clark cuts the ribbon on the new food pantry at St Andrew's Primary School in Enfield Town
Feryal Clark cuts the ribbon on the new food pantry at St Andrew’s Primary School in Enfield Town, with help from pupils Albie and Isaac

Year six pupils Albie and Isaac have been helping to manage the donations received from parents at the school. Albie said: “It is worth it knowing that someone has been able to cook their dinner from the pantry.”

Theresa Davis, chair of governors, added: “It is a great initiative and to have the children involved as well is fantastic.”

Inflation in the UK has now surpassed 10% thanks to rising food and energy prices. Research by Warwick University recently found that rising energy bills alone would collectively cost Enfield residents an extra £110m over the next year.


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