Food Poverty, Food Banks and Free School Meals; Video Journalism.

New styles of journalism? I’ve been nervous to publish this piece; It is out of my comfort zone and new. Here is my first ever piece of Video Journalism, which I hope to establish more in coming weeks.

I spoke to a local C.I.C, or Community Interest Company, to find out how they have supported residents throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic. By becomming a Food Bank and registering as a ‘Business’, during the first lockdown in 2020, the community group hoped to recieve regular funding. This hasn’t been the case, however, as the manager told me applying for grants, burseries and support becomes a more complicated process as a C.I.C. ‘We haven’t had any input from Doncaster Council since mid 2020’, I was told and the truth seemed to unravel.

Aswell as speaking to the foodbank, I contacted a local parent, who is eligible for Free School Meals. The mum of two explained that she only applied for Free School Meals, because Covid-19 forced her to. “We went from being very comfortable with money, to having very little”, she told me, “regardless of our circumstances in the future, my children will recieve free school meals for five years”. This provides a level of comfort and reassurance to families struggling with finances.

The National Voucher Scheme, seems to be much more popular amongst parents, than relying on privately catered food parcels from schools. The Scheme relaunched in January 2021 after Marcus Rashford and Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson posed serious concern to Parliament. Now, parents take control on their food shopping, recieving a £15 voucher per child, per week to shop at a Supermarket of their choice.

I reported on the matter, saying this:

Announces made in Parliament today, 22 February, set out a road to ‘normality’; Pupils will return to the classroom from 8 March. Hot meals will be catered for at school, lifting pressure from the shoulder’s of parents at home.

Reported by Heather Davey.

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