We, like all of you, were outraged to learn of the Tories’ decision not to continue free schools meals for kids over the holidays despite an economic crisis and pandemic leaving millions of children in poverty and parents struggling to feed them without this essential support. We knew that we were capable of feeding people in need, as our 6 month run of solidarity kitchen proved time and time again, and so when our friendly local Northfield councillor Olly asked for our help we rose to the challenge.
In a matter of days, we were able to pull together four days’ worth of willing and eager participants to cook up over 500 delicious, healthy vegan meals for kids in Northfield. Thanks to the fantastic number of donations to our project we had the reserves to make this happen alongside a team of other community projects in Northfield who are dealing with distribution.
However, if we want to continue being able to work on this issue, we will need some more donations soon. Make sure you check our website or social media for our new fundraiser if you’d like to donate.
We are not the only ones to respond. All around the country thousands of community projects and businesses are promising to provide free meals to kids over half term in a truly heartening act of solidarity that flies in face of miserly Tory hatred of the poor.
The people are right to be angry. The impact of this pandemic has been felt the hardest by the working class, by those who were already poor and set to become even poorer whilst the wealthy continue to profit off our misery. Make no mistake – for them to be rich, we must be poor; for them to gorge themselves in the houses of parliament, we must be allowed to starve.
Attempts to blame the parents of the children suffering must not be tolerated. Our project has always asked no questions of those who receive our meals, and this is because we have no right to judge or assess anyone’s right to access food. We know that there is more than enough food to go round, that so much is wasted in the name of profit.
We also know that adults, too, go hungry and deserve to be fed no matter what so-called ‘choices’ they have made. To be wealthy is to have choice. For many there is little choice, they are at the mercy of precarious employment, poor working conditions, low wages, isolation, and the resulting traumas of all of this.
In the face of this we must continue to be in solidarity and work together to fight back. If you’d like to be involved in coming up with more and more ways to do this, please do get in touch with us. This does not end with the end of half term. We are still plotting and planning the ways that we can be effective and continue to support the people of Birmingham.