Special delivery – 2,500 pupil food parcels

FOOD parcels are on their way to some 2,500 Inverclyde schoolchildren to ensure they do not go hungry while schools are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Bags packed full of nutritious supplies will be delivered by the council to households across the district from 2pm on Friday 27 March for pupils who would normally receive free school meals and a clothing grant.

They contain enough food to provide lunches for two weeks, replacing packed lunches which have been distributed from 12 community hubs since Monday. The hubs will be open for the final time on Friday 27 March between 12-2pm.

Food bags will then be delivered direct to homes to ensure pupils, their parents or carers do not have to leave the house in line with the latest health and safety rules from the authorities to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Food bags being prepared by volunteers in Greenock Town Hall
Food bags being prepared by
volunteers in Greenock Town Hall

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s Convener of Education & Communities, was among around 40 volunteers helping to pack the food bags at a production hub set up in Greenock Town Hall.

Cllr Clocherty said: “Inverclyde is a compassionate and caring place, particularly in times of emergency like these, and this is a fine example of council staff, along with friends and family, volunteering to ensure our young people don’t miss out on a free lunch while the schools are closed.

“A big thank you to all the volunteers here and throughout the council who are working so hard to help others under extremely challenging conditions.”

The food bags are filled with fruit, vegetables and other ingredients which can be turned into quick and easy meals.

Each parcel also comes with a handy information pack and recipe guide to encourage adults to cook with their children to ensure their learning continues during the schools shutdown – and to help keep young people occupied while indoors.

Cllr Clocherty, the council’s Depute Leader, said: “A tremendous amount of effort has gone into these food bags and I congratulate everyone who has been involved in pulling it all together so quickly and during such unprecedented times.

“These parcels not only provide important provisions for families across Inverclyde, the information guide is packed full of tasty recipes, cooking methods, food safety advice, and allergen details.

“They will help keep tummies full and minds active.”

The small army of volunteers is made up of staff from across the council.

Food bags were prepared in accordance with the latest health and safety rules set out by medical professionals and the UK and Scottish Governments to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Staff kept at least two metres apart, sanitized their hands regularly and wore protective rubber gloves at all times.

Deliveries will begin from 2pm on Friday once the 12 packed lunch hubs have closed.

The new fortnightly food bags contain things like pasta, tinned soups, tortilla wraps, cheese, baked potatoes, mayonnaise, jelly, fruit pots and yoghurts.

The ‘Cookalong’ guide includes step-by-step recipes to make home-made dishes such as vegetable pizza, tomato pasta, and cheesy pasta.

*To find your nearest packed lunch hub and for the latest coronavirus updates from Inverclyde Council, visit www.inverclyde.gov.uk/coronavirus