King’s Park Academy pupil Poppy-Lou Scott was one of 200 volunteers who helped pack meals for Boscombe families in need.
The children, their families and residents from across the area gathered at the school in Ashley Road, Bournemouth, to take part in the LOVE:Boscombe Hunger Project, which is providing ready prepared, healthy meals for families struggling to make ends meet.
Ian Rothwell, pastor of Turning Point Church in Boscombe, spearheaded the event.
He said: “The LOVE:Boscombe Hunger Project was formed by churches across the area to help battle poverty in our community.
“When we learned that 35 per cent of the children in Boscombe are living under the poverty line, we were deeply troubled and knew we had to do something.
“Then we met some people from the Feeding Children Everywhere initiative in America, which provides one-pan meals for people who are struggling to feed themselves and their children.
“They encouraged us to bring that idea to Boscombe and so we put out an appeal for help and were overwhelmed by the response.”
Around 175 volunteers took just two hours to pack the ingredients for 25,000 simple, lentil casseroles, which will be offered free to those who need them during the coming month.
Mr Rothwell added: “We are very grateful to King’s Park Academy and their pupils for taking part in the event and to the many other local people who also gave up their time to volunteer.”
Lauren Dean, Associate Principal of King’s Park Academy, said: “We were pleased to offer our school hall and young volunteers to help pack these meals.
“Poverty is an issue affecting many local families and our pupils want to do all they can to help children who do not have enough to eat.”
The meals packed at King’s Park Academy are available free to anyone who needs them and can be collected from the Zervo Flexi store in Boscombe High Street, for one month, from 10am on Saturday February 13, 2016 (From that date meals will be given out Monday-Friday from 10am-12 noon.)