Hemel charity's new project provides free lunches for hundreds of children in Dacorum

The Youth Booth is appealing for help to continue running the lunch service

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 9:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 9:20 am

A youth charity in Hemel Hempstead is appealing for help to continue providing over 1,000 free lunches to children in Dacorum every week.

The Youth Booth - a registered charity for over three years which runs youth projects and services in Dacorum - set up The Youth Booth Lunch Service following on from the success of the breakfast club.

Toni McManus, founder and chair of The Youth Booth, set up the free breakfast club for children in November, but when schools closed she wanted to find another way to help children during the pandemic.

An example of the lunches

Toni said: "We started this when the schools closed in the latest lockdown, the breakfast club was really popular but with so many children not now going to school we still wanted a way of reaching those who needed a bit of support.

"We put a pre-order list on Facebook to see what the demand was and we had 120 people respond quite quickly, the first week we did 120 packs and then since the second week we have been doing 200 lunch packs every day.

"The response and support has been really amazing, and it's great that we are able to reach families that are struggling at the moment.

"But, we need more donations from local companies and the kind people of Dacorum, it's costing £900 a week to fund the project, and we won't be able to do it for much longer without more financial support.

Youth Booth appeals for help to continue providing hundreds of meals for children in Dacorum

"Any help people can give is really appreciated, and will help us continue delivering lunch packs to children who need them.

"With the school closures being extended, this project is more important then ever.

"With your continued support this means we are able to carry on making sure that no child goes hungry."

The Youth Booth runs youth projects and services in Dacorum, and this month is the charity's three year anniversary, in normal times they would run youth projects that aim to offer a safe space for children and young people to learn important life skills. For more information about Youth Booth click here.

Support from M&S Hemel

John D’Cunha, The Youth Booth treasurer, said: "The community have really got behind the Lunch Club project and we have over 30 volunteers preparing the meals and drivers who deliver the lunches to each of these kids.

"We have also been fortunate enough to receive free bags of food from M&S and Tesco’s and free food from local independent stores and restaurants. This coupled with cash donations from some of the local companies of Dacorum.

"It's amazing how many people wanted to help us with this, and also the amount of businesses that have supported this project.

"The Lunch Club comes at a cost and we need to raise more funds to ensure we continue running the service.

"Therefore we want to reach out to the local people and companies in Dacorum to raise more funds.

"We would love to be able to reach more children.

"We are grateful for any support, and hopefully we can continue to do the lunch service, and reach out to more children."

To make a donation and to support The Youth Booth Lunch Service click hereor visit the charity's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/THEYOUTHBOOTHUK.