salford elim church

The Salford Elim Church with community café, The Vine Café, is donating free school meals to the children across Salford in response to the service not being extended over the half-term break.

Ian Peacock, a member of the Salford Elim Church, has said that the idea came from the recent news that 322 MPs opposed the extension of free school meals.

“My wife and I were at home and were reading the bible together, and it was about justice and doing good to people that were in need, so she said to me we can’t do something next week.”

The Vine Cafe poster for free school meals.
Image credit: Ian Peacock

Ian’s wife’s suggestion inspired him to post on social media to get the word out.

He explained: “Within a few hours people responded to my post, saying they could do Monday, Wednesday or whenever it is, and I can donate this, this and that.”

The response to Ian’s social media post and the community’s willingness to help with this cause led Ian to contact Salford’s local schools.

Ian said: “Parents contacted me from the schools and said that I know my children will be fine next week, so I want to help out where I can, so it was just brilliant the support we were getting.

“In fact, it got to the stage where too many people were volunteering, so in fact, we had to say thanks very much, but we don’t need you anymore”, Ian explains.

Ian and his team’s support from the community of Salford has allowed them to provide free school meals for those affected from the 26th of October to the 30th of October at the hours of 12 pm to 1 pm.

Those affected by the 322 MPs opposition to extending free schools can expect to receive a substantial lunch.

Ian said: “A simple packed lunch basically, just a choice of three sandwiches, a piece of fruit, a cereal bar, a yoghurt, and a drink”

He continued: “That way, people can choose what they like so that kids are not getting something that they wouldn’t eat.”

The service is operating as a takeaway service only as a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic.

A local mother of two has welcomed this service to the community but is frustrated and angry at the Government.

She said: “I think it a sad state of affairs that we are in this position.

“We shouldn’t be refusing to feed the kids during the holidays or anytime.

“I think it is nice that the community is coming together.”

While Ian is disappointed over last week’s result, he does try to remain optimistic about the situation.

“It is disappointing that people would vote against something so fundamental as to can we feed our children.

“But it is heart-warming that all these people are wanting to make a difference.”

He continued: “There are people with good hearts, who are making a difference, and to me, I rather focus on that than the negativity.”

Ian asks that those attending the service to wear a mask and respect social distancing.

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