As a school we were aware of the food poverty that some of our community experience and were concerned our students were going hungry. This was reinforced when our local community told us how the food bank was consistently running out of food. We set up a community group to tackle food poverty in our area and in April 2017 MUNCH was born.
We successfully contacted external agencies for funding and MUNCH is now in operation supplying nutritious 2 course meals and activities for children and their families attending any Leigh Park school during the school holidays. Play equipment is provided, along with learning practitioners, who help our guests learn via play encouraging learning of vital maths and English skills. Our school nurse is also on hand, on a drop in basis for any concerns parents may have.
Our vision for MUNCH is to develop a sustainable local social enterprise by establishing a community food shop and café. This will provide volunteering and employment opportunities, as well as a casual meeting and eating venue to reduce social isolation – watch this space for more details.
We work in partnership with organisations who have excess food which otherwise would go into landfill . This helps to fill our MUNCH fridge in the Dickinson Centre. This is always fully stocked with emergency food for local families who are most in need.
We have expanded MUNCH to both Thursday nights and Sunday lunches. 2 course Sunday lunches start monthly from Sunday 25th March and Thursday nights meals start weekly from Thursday March 29th.
“I like everything about MUNCH, and the fact that they do this for people” from Olivia age 10.
“It helps me out loads. I have a large family and struggle during holidays. The kids like coming too. Thank you”.
“A huge help to those on a very limited income. Children also like to come and see any friends. A massive thank you xxx” Love Kath.
“We love MUNCH! The food is lovely, the games etc. is fantastic for the kids. It’s a great way to get them out of the house and eating a healthy meal. We really enjoy and appreciate it.” Thank you Ms Roberts.
At Park on Tuesday we were delighted to welcome Katy Trapani the Community Champion from Asda Havant who kindly presented Susan Parish, Business and Community Manager at Park Community School a cheque to help support the MUNCH project that is running throughout the holidays. Susan said “I am delighted to accept this on behalf of Park Community School for the MUNCH project, it makes such a difference and ensures that no child or parent will go hungry in Leigh Park”.
Katy also kindly brought along crayons, games and drawing pads for the children to enjoy when they come to MUNCH. Thank you so much to the ASDA Foundation.
If anyone is hungry throughout the holidays please do contact Park Community School for further details.
Park Community School's MUNCH project has been featured in BBC's Inside Out South
"We meet the Portsmouth head teacher who opens his school throughout the holidays to feed children who might otherwise be missing meals."
The MUNCH team at Park Community School working in partnership with the FatFace Foundation, have created CHRUNCH to try and reduce food poverty at Christmas in the Havant area. PO9 Foodbank will be assisting with distribution from the Dickinson Centre at Park Community School.
This years CHRUNCH has now finished, the support for this project has been fantatic we wish to thank everyone that made this possible.
If you wish to support future projects please contact our school reception.