Help a Hungry Child: The Way the money will help these children achieve their full potential

Located into a space that is bustling off the Leicester ring street is Hazel Community Primary School.

400 kids, aged four to 11, come here in order to learn. But despite their energy on the park, a number of them are often going hungry.

“The main thing we see here is kids falling asleep,” headteacher Andrew Lintern explained. “We often hear kids saying ‘I am hungry, I have not eaten breakfast’, so we have to sort something out for them since they are just not being fed up in the morning.”

For many of the parents, increasing food prices and stagnating wages have dealt a harsh blow to that which they are able to provide for their families, Mr Lintern explained.

Jeremy Corbyn, Justine Greening praise The Help a Starving Child appeal

“It is the price of food that is preventing them from getting enough to eat. We’ve got parents who wind up on salaries that are just not enough to support the entire household,” he explained. “And they are quite proud parents so that they won’t always complain about it but surely there are families who fight to supply enough food.”

Mother-of-six Nicola feels the strain. “I have to really budget on what I pay with the kids, I need to restrict what they could have,” she explained.

Nicola can not afford to buy enough although her six-year-old Summer enjoys eating peanuts and berries but. “I would love to be able to give them more vegetables and fruit, but I need to make sacrifices,” she explained. “I need to go without so I can supply for them. I do not buy myself anything coming up to Christmas, I just can not buy anything, I have to restrict myself.”

A number of the kids here will have just had a glass of milk, or even a toaster, although the 32-year-old makes sure her kids get breakfast before they leave for school. Others have bought some sweets on the way in, leaving them lacking the energy and nutrients that they need to make it through the morning.

“The knock-on effect is huge. If they don’t arrive in getting consumed, their learning is wholly disrupted, so they will have lost the entire morning so far as I am concerned,” Mr Lintern explained.

“I would like to observe the kids here reach their potential rather than be held back with them being hungry, since that is among the largest challenges I could see to learning, occasionally their concentration is just not there.”

The Felix Project — in graphics

The Felix Project — in graphics

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Photographs by Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    • Katie Barraclough/The Felix Project

    As many as 500,000 children go to school hungry each day. That is why for this year’s Christmas appeal, The Independent is backing The Felix Project to support those families living on the breadline.

    The charity has been operating to combat hunger with left handed create that could otherwise have been destined for landfill, reacting to the demons of food excess and food poverty.

    Now, it is going to be siphoned all funds raised into a market stall scheme in primary schools, in which kids and their parents can allow themselves to produce as they go home.

    The scheme launched in two London schools this month and today, due to subscribers’ generosity, it’ll be rolled out at Hazel Primary on Wednesday 20 December.

    The Felix Project will take a van in Park Royal, laden with yoghurt, vegetables, fruit, porridge and bread to the school for parents and their kids to fill up a paper bag to carry home.

    Nicola explained the scheme could be a real support.

    “I think it’ll be amazing. With the prices of fruit and veg, they are so pricey, it really climbs up,” she explained. “I have to live off #60 a week, so it’ll really help.”

    Mr Lintern stated he hoped that the stall could show parents.

    “I just believe it’ll give parents a significant boost. The kids will adore it, the parents may adore it, it is something different but it’s also  an opportunity to show them the school is considering them,” Mr Lintern explained.

    “I think that it’ll help parents extend their budgets a bit. My school want to eat well, they enjoy their own fruit but it’s about getting it for prices they could afford.”

    The charity intends to roll the scheme out however, is currently identifying the most disadvantaged areas nationally to help tackle food poverty. Hazel Primary in Leicester is going to be the first school to be helped outside London.

    Here are the ways you can contribute to our Christmas appeal:   

    Telephone — 08000 639281 (freephone)

    Text — FELIX Number5 TO 70700

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