The Christian Science Monitor : 2020-12-07

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MARK WAUGH/FARESHARE/AP GOAL: Manchester United soccer star Marcus Rashford visits FareShare, which redistribu­tes surplus food to charities, in Manchester, England, Oct. 22, 2020. Mr. Rashford, who debuted in the Premier League in 2016, lobbied the U.K. government to extend free meals to children during school breaks, which they will for the next year. told me about his work and it gave me the kick I needed to do something,” says Mr. Stephens, in Cardiff. “When the government voted against giving free school meals to kids, I thought, ‘Let’s go feed children ourselves.’” grocery store owner set up a text service contacting families in receipt of state-provided meals and has delivered 3,000 meals across East Lancashire. He’s concerned the lockdown has pushed people “who’ve never experience­d hunger before into food poverty.” “It’s worse than I imagined it to be,” says Mr. White. “Mothers and kids have been in tears on doorsteps because they were hungry.” means people “can’t just turn up. ... It’s not somewhere where you want to take kids to.” At his food hub, recipients have the freedom to choose items as they walk around, including a shelf stocked with children’s toys. About 250 families a week visit his “community surplus hub.” Young profession­als, nurses, and teachers with young children browse items, saving them up to £60 on weekly shopping expenses. With further economic concern on the horizon, Ms. Steere is well aware that Britain’s poverty trap looms precarious­ly close to many on so-called middle-class incomes. Near her Surrey home, she received a call for emergency food from a resident living in a family-sized cottage that appeared in a Hollywood film. “It doesn’t matter what you look like, or who you are. I’ll never judge if you’re going hungry.” “It doesn’t matter what you look like, or who you are. I’ll never judge if you’re going hungry.” An alternativ­e to the food bank Critics argue food banks are an inefficien­t way of fighting both child and food poverty. In Waltham Abbey, a small town on the London-Essex border, Pesh Kapasiawal­a opens his door to a space that resembles something more like a supermarke­t. His belief that food banks are “undignifie­d and traumatic” led him to opening community hub 3Food4U in August. Locals line up to pick out fresh fruit, pastries, and clothes donated by supermarke­t giants Marks & Spencer, Asda, and Morrisons that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Mr. Kapasiawal­a says food banks have a bureaucrat­ic profile, often relying on local authoritie­s to assess recipients, which – Hayley Steere, founder of Free-My-Meal Inspired by Mr. Rashford too, grocery store owner Paul White recruited 200 volunteers and “commandeer­ed” a school kitchen in East Lancashire, northern England. Using donations from Britain’s biggest supermarke­ts, he got the owner of a local restaurant to help with the menu. “We hired a fridge and 24 hours later, we were cooking all through the night,” he says. “We tried to replicate what kids were eating at school. It might be their only healthy meal of the day.” Working closely with local schools, the r THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY | DECEMBER 7, 2020 7 PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW