Grub club boost for hol­i­day kids

Com­mu­nity group’s new kitchen ready to roll

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Sharon Lip­trott

Vol­un­teers have stepped up to the plate to com­bat “hol­i­day hunger” in north­west Dum­fries.

Lochside Com­mu­nity Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion were so con­cerned to hear from teach­ers that young­sters were re­turn­ing af­ter school breaks “lethar­gic and thin­ner” from not hav­ing enough to eat that they de­cided to do some­thing about it.

And on Mon­day they will start their new Grub Club af­ter se­cur­ing £20,000 from Dum­fries and Gal­loway Coun­cil to­wards the project.

On three days of each week of the Oc­to­ber break, they will pro­vide a meal for chil­dren at Lochside Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. There will also be ac­tiv­i­ties with Let’s Get Sporty and a drop-in for par­ents to get help from other or­gan­i­sa­tions on a wide range of is­sues.

Karen Wylie, chef and or­gan­iser of the Grub Club, said: “Many chil­dren get a free meal when they are at school which re­ally helps strug­gling fam­i­lies.

“But dur­ing the hol­i­days those fam­i­lies find it dif­fi­cult to pro­vide enough food for their chil­dren. Some get lit­tle or noth­ing to eat.

“When they re­turn to school the teach­ers have found them to be lethar­gic in classes and thin­ner and the kids say they have re­ally missed their school din­ners. It is be­ing called hol­i­day hunger.”

The Grub Club has all been made pos­si­ble be­cause the cen­tre has been given a new kitchen.

A year ago vol­un­teers from the com­mu­nity took on the task of run­ning the cen­tre which is now use by var­i­ous groups.

As­so­ci­a­tion trea­surer Sheila Far­ries said: “It has been a long slog and ev­ery­one has worked so hard. We re­ally needed a new kitchen and Dum­fries and Gal­loway Coun­cil gave us sur­plus kitchen equip­ment.

“We got money from the Dum­fries Lions Club and wind­farm cash to­wards it and were de­lighted when Gra­ham Con­struc­tion stepped in and put down floor­ing and a splash­back for free.

“Now we have a lovely new kitchen ready for Mon­day.”

The club will be open to all chil­dren from the Lochside area for lunch from noon to 2pm.

On Wed­nes­day it will pro­vide break­fast from 10am to noon and on Fri­day lunch from noon to 2pm. The fol­low­ing week it will be 10am to noon on the Mon­day and Wed­nes­day and noon un­til 2pm on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 26, which will also see a Tat­tie Day held in the cen­tre from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

Karen said: “We are work­ing with a num­ber of or­gan­i­sa­tions and on the days we are not run­ning Grub Club or are just run­ning break­fasts, fam­i­lies can go to Lochside Fam­ily Cen­tre to pick up a free pic­nic bag for their lunch.

“We want fam­i­lies to know that there is no stigma at­tached to com­ing along and there won’t be any forms to fill in.

“It is a help­ing hand. While the kids are be­ing fed and hav­ing fun with the ac­tiv­i­ties, par­ents can get help and ad­vice on any prob­lems they may be hav­ing.”

Kitchen crew Karen Wylie, left, with Suzanne Lit­tle, Sheila Far­ries and Janet Brown

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