YES, most of us celebrated Easter last weekend – but Manorfield Primary School in Poplar seems to be running on the Greek Orthodox calendar. It is raffling ten luxury Easter Eggs to raise funds for children in need during the Coronavirus Lockdown: and you have to buy a ticket before the draw, due to be held at 8.3pm on Friday, 17th April.
As the Easter school holiday draws to a close, Manorfield School has remained open. It’s functioning as a hub school – taking children of key workers so that their parents can stay working, many in the NHS. Over 30 children from ten different schools have attended.
The school is also distributing food bags each week – but it would like to do more.
•The school receives a government subsidy of £11.50 per week to provide food parcels to children who should be receiving free school meals under the national, means-tested, free school meals system but can’t, because school is closed.
•Children at a Tower Hamlets primary school but are not entitled to free school meals under the national means test also receive a free school lunch, the cost of which is paid by the Council. The school would like to offer families of these children a food bag too – but it has to fund these itself.
•Most primary schools in Tower Hamlets have a breakfast club. Children who are not at school at the moment may be missing out on this meal. Manorfield would like to provide food bags to families in need which have more food in them, not just lunch.
•The school would like the bags to have healthy food to complement the staples, and it would also like to provide basic toiletries and a few basics such as pens, paper, books and games.
The Manorfield Charitable Foundation has been running an appeal to help fund the extras in the “statutory” bags and the extra bags for families who fall just outside the national subsidy. Amazingly, the school has already raised over £10,000: but with the lockdown looked set to continue for at least another three weeks, Manorfield is trying to increase that total. Already some families have confided in the school that they are beginning to run out of food: your donation could stop a child, or their mum, going hungry. Readers are invited to enter this week’s raffle or make a general donation.