FEELING a bit peckish? Then let these breakfast angels give you a hearty meal and send you on your way.
A Leeds community has decided to tackle the growing issue of food poverty from within, by running its own free breakfast club.
The Bramley Breakfast Club has been running throughout this week at St Peter’s Church, a collaboration between eight churches, their parishioners and local business.
And it’s been so popular, similar clubs could soon pop up all over the city.
The project was the idea of the Revd Mandy Coutts, team minister at St Peter’s, St Margaret’s and Rodley churches.
She and her network of helpers have been handing out hot toast, cereal, croissants, fruit and fresh tea and coffee in the morning to parents and children, and anyone else who fancies a healthy start to the day.
“We were really struck about the fact that many children this summer holiday are going to struggle to be fed and have a good meal inside them,” the Revd Mandy said.
“I do a lot of work in schools, and the schools had also expressed similar concerns.
“We have had a variety of people coming.
“We are really thrilled by the response from the helpers, those who financially helped, and the families that are coming in.”
The food has all been donated by locals, congregation members and the Co-Op at Swinnow.
The Revd Mandy said a similar free lunch club might also be started to help even more people.
“We have heard some really moving stories,” she added. “We are aware from the stories we hear that people are struggling, particularly this year more than in previous years.
“It’s just trying to encourage people to start the day with a good meal in their stomachs.
“It’s early days but we would love to extend it. There are certain parts of the city that are desperately in need of this.”
Jennifer Coutts, the Revd Mandy’s daughter, and one of the breakfast club helpers, said: “We felt very moved that something had to be done to provide relief and support to these families.”
Tim Nichols, spokesman for the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “We’ve tremendous respect for the people who run these kinds of projects in their community. Sadly, this kind of help for families is increasingly needed.”
Food poverty factfile
More than 31,790 youngsters in Leeds currently live below the breadline, according to recent research from the Child Poverty Action Group.
The impact cost to the city of child poverty is at least £345m every year.
More than 27,000 people in Leeds are officially malnourished at any one time, according to the city’s health bosses.
Over 3.6 million children in the UK live below the poverty line.
This year, almost 250,000 people across the UK will rely on food bank handouts.