Meals for kids in Marlborough

Karen Davis – a long-time supporter of the Foundation introduced us to Love Marlborough Kids  Meals, a great local not for profit cause.  We were pleased to award a grant from our small grants fund to support them in buying food for their dedicated volunteers to turn into delicious and nutritious meals for struggling families with children across the Marlborough area. We were impressed with their open approach to those asking for help – “No fuss, no forms, just food for families who need it “.

Catherine Williams, Co-ordinator for Love Marlborough Kids Meals, told us about how they started and what they do.

Originally inspired by the Marcus Rashford campaign during lockdown in 2020. Kids Meals was started by a small number of volunteers in early summer of 2020. Throughout the lockdowns and afterwards through 2020-21, we delivered between 60-80 hot family meals each week to families who were struggling. We coordinated a large number of volunteer cooks, kitchen help, delivery drivers from a wide spectrum of the community in Marlborough and surrounding villages

As people returned to work and other life commitments, we reviewed our project and the need to continue in a sustainable way. We now provide a roast dinner on Fridays and also send eggs, bread and a bag of store cupboard ingredients and recipe suggestion for another meal during the week. We have been sponsored to provide slow cookers, which are gratefully received, with feedback from families that they have started to use these regularly, even before the recent publicity about their budget-friendly features!

….. kids, meals and friendship

Referrals come from individuals themselves, and sometimes the local Children’s Centre, schools and Social Support Services. We currently feed 28 families and have had a steady increase in requests in recent weeks. As anticipated, the change to universal credit, together with fuel and food prices has had an impact on those who already have challenges to their budget, or who unexpectedly experience health difficulties.

We provided this support for an initial 3 months, but many families need us to continue as their circumstances have not changed. A small number of our families have experienced positive changes to their circumstances and  no longer need our support. Other families have experienced additional crises and have re-joined our list. We have also provided longer term support for a small number of families who are marginalised for various reasons.

… all volunteers in the kitchen

Our meals are cooked in a professional kitchen by four regular cooks and a small team of kitchen helpers. Time and facilities are provided free of charge. We have a team of nine delivery drivers who work on a rota with five delivery areas each week in addition, there are 3 coordinators for liaising with families, volunteers and managing the project. We are very grateful for all  the generous support we receive.

Plans for 2023

We are working with the town Warm Spaces initiative and Marlborough Area Poverty Action Group to link our support with other local initiatives. We intend to keep our operating model simple and sustainable for the foreseen future. “

We wish Love Marlborough Kids Meals every success in the future and are very hopeful that this will turn into one of our long-term relationships. Working with them in supporting families with children at this difficult time is an easy decision to make.