Church volunteers offer free lunches for hungry children during half-term holidays

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A city church is taking over a school kitchen in a hands-on bid to ensure needy children do not go hungry this half-term.

The Make Lunch project focuses on families who are struggling to put food on the table through poverty or hardship.

“During term their children get free school meals, so at least that is something. But in the school holidays there can be a real hunger problem,” said vicar Paul Oxley.

Volunteers from St Mark’s Church, which is based at CMK, launched the free scheme at Greenleys junior school during October’s half-term.

Not only did they give the children their daily bread, but they whipped up mouthwatering pasta, pies – and even chocolate brownies. We had 25 children come to tuck in every day. They bought their siblings, too and their parents came for a cup of tea. It was amazing,” said Paul.

“The children ate every scrap. It was their main meal of the day or, for some, the only meal of the day,” he said.

The St Mark’s crew acquired the food through donations from businesses, supermarkets and the MK Food Bank, and they cooked everything fresh in the school kitchens.

Their dream now is to roll out the Make Lunch programme to other schools in deprived areas of MK.

“The official figure is that one in five children in some areas going hungry. This is simply not good enough and we must do everything we can to help,” said Paul.

Anybody wanting to donate food or help with the Make Lunch project, or volunteers in any way should contact Paul on 07985 937117.

St Mark’s members describe themselves as “a group of people having fun while travelling through life and exploring faith”.

They currently meets at The Buszy, though will shortly have to leave when the building full closes.

For details of the church and its activities view their website http://stmarksmk.com