It’s half term here in the UK, and there’s a huge row going on about how to provide for those children and young people who are entitled to free school meals – will they go hungry this week? It breaks my heart that there are so many children who are at risk of hunger in our country, and that we don’t seem to be able to get our response together in time for this short holiday – after all, we knew it was coming. One of the things this crisis continues to do is to reveal things that may have been hidden, or we may have overlooked. Child poverty is one of these, and it’s an affront to us all that we aren’t, as a society, doing better to look after our kids and their families.
Of course, we need to look at long term, systemic solutions which genuinely help families to live good lives, but that long term thinking doesn’t help much if you or your child can’t sleep for hunger, or the fear of hunger. And so, we see once again the kindness and generosity of so many individuals and businesses – many themselves close to the edge – doing all they can to make sure children in their area have enough to eat.
In the light of this national effort, St Andrews Little Free Pantry is a small offering of love and care for and by the community in Melton, Suffolk. It may be just what someone needs, though, to help them through this time. Small, local things can make such a difference. Anyone can come along and take what they need, no questions. So, although I’ve been writing about the free school meals situation, I do want to emphasise that the pantry is available for all, whatever your reasons for visiting. You can just come along, and take what you need.
It’s stocked by donations, and anyone can bring food or toiletries along. Just leave them in the lobby of the church rooms, or by the rectory door.
It’s a little tucked away, so I took some photos so you can see where to go beforehand, that might help.
St Andrew’s Church, Melton, Suffolk.
To the right of the church is this little lane. Follow the sign to the Rectory, which has a paper sign directing you to the pantry.
When you get to the Rectory drive, turn sharp left – it’s fine to cut across the end of the drive – and you’ll see a little path leading down the side of the church rooms.
The door is to your left, and the pantry shelves are just inside.
You will see it’s open every day this half term week, 9-5. Normal social distancing applies. Just come along, and take what you need, leave what you can.
You can read more about the Little Free Pantry here.
Other local organisations which will help: