A chain of Salford nurseries has been operating a foodbank during lockdown, delivering bags of essential items to families who are struggling.
And Kidzrus Nurseries provided 40 pack lunches every day during October half-term.
The foodbanks are run by KidzRus director Nicola Fleury.
“It’s not just our nursery children and families we’re trying to support, it’s the entire Salford community,” said Ms Fleury.
“The aim of the foodbank was to help families struggling financially and in need of a little extra support and having difficulty getting to the shops. During the recent pandemic and whilst the nurseries were closed, we wanted to reach out to our nursery families and those of the wider community. We delivered daily food parcels during the lockdown and received many positive comments showing their appreciation from local families.
“There’s been a significant increase in demand over the pandemic. We find with most families who request help that they’ve either been made redundant, had their hours reduced or lost their jobs entirely and are waiting for Tax credit payment. But they need help now. These are young children, and it is hard to think that they haven’t got food on the table.
“We actually find that the demand for food parcels is as great as how much people are donating. We set up a GoFundMe last Friday and already have raised over £1,000 to help these families.
“We’ve also been supported by local businesses, including Morrisons store and Costa Coffee in Swinton, who have contributed to our foodbanks.”
“We try to involve our nursery children as much as we can. They make up the food parcels and we educate them that there are other children out there who are hungry and their families need help.
One mother of two young children, who has been relying on the service, said: “I messaged KidzRUs food banks explaining my situation and within a couple of hours they delivered enough food to last me and my kids for the week.
“I am still in awe that there is still so much kindness in the world we live in despite the pandemic we’re facing.
“Thank you so much KidzRus foodbank. You have made mine and my children’s lives a lot easier. I am forever grateful to you all.”
The nursery caught the attention of Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. The 23-year-old is pushing Boris Johnson towards another U-turn on extending free school meals after his petition gained nearly a million signatures.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 25, 2020
“It was absolutely unbelievable when we found out,” said Nicola.
“We are delighted to have been retweeted by Marcus Rashford as we consider early years children and their families need support too especially during the holidays.”
“His campaign has been amazing and made a huge impact in highlighting the need for schools children to receive a meal during the school holidays. To think that a young man from Manchester has made such a significant impact on the country is remarkable. He is a credit to himself and his family.
“We would like to thank those who have supported our Foodbank so far and would welcome any another food donations or small amounts to our go fund me page.”
Nicola is up for the Outstanding Contribution Award in the Community at the Nursery World Awards, while KidsRUs nurseries are up for a Community Nursery Award. Kidzrus Nursery have also recently produced a nursery cookbook where proceeds go to the Foodbank.
Parents can make requests for the food bank through the nursery’s designated foodbank Facebook page.
Find out more about supporting KidzRus Salford Family Food Bank here