Food bank at primary school for hungry children whose parents face austerity

A primary school has set up a food bank for hungry kids whose parents are struggling under austerity.

Head Debbie Whiting launched it after seeing pupils so famished they were stealing from other children’s packed lunches.

“You can’t learn if you’re hungry,” she said. “Children need to be fed, clothed and warm.”

The food bank at North Denes juniors in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, is thought to be the first at a British school.

Staff and some parents donate extra items from their shopping and a charity has given £1,500.

Mum Sadie Carter, who has two children at the school, said she fell to “rock bottom” after running out of money and was “crying for days”.

She said: “I didn’t know what to do. Then the school came to help.”


Debbie, 54, has also introduced cooking classes for parents, a clothes bank and free breakfast toast for pupils.

Half the 420 pupils at the school – rated good by watchdog Ofsted – get free meals.

Debbie said: “We live in a deprived coastal area and have sent 30 food parcels. Problems the parents face are not of their making.

“A number of families have changed from benefits to Universal Credit and seen delays in them coming through.”


The Work and Pensions department said: “With Universal Credit we have made 100 per cent advances available from day one.

"We are spending £90billion a year to support low-income families.”

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