Medway: Food bank appeal for Luton Infant and Nursery School

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image captionLuton Infant and Nursery School in Medway is appealing for food bank donations this Christmas

A school is appealing for food bank donations after it said pupils were turning up hungry due to financial struggles at home.

Luton Infant and Nursery School launched the appeal after parents admitted they could not provide meals.

Steph Hammond, head teacher, said one mother was "ashamed" to be using the food bank.

The school, in Chatham, has recruited a team of volunteers to ensure children do not miss out at Christmas.

Mrs Hammond said: "It upsets me to see the level of deprivation and how it impacts on our families, particularly looking at how the mums are having to respond to that and how they feel about not being able to put food on the tables at the end of the day.

image captionHead teacher Steph Hammond was told by a parent they were 'ashamed' to be using the food banks

"I had one mum sat with me who was very grateful at what we were able to provide, but she felt ashamed about having to come and ask."

The school is also asking for presents suitable for children aged three to seven ahead of 25 December, Kent Online reports.

According to Kent County Council, more than 50,000 children are in poverty.

In Chatham and Aylesford alone 30.3% of children are in poverty, according to End Child Poverty.

The Department for Work and Pensions says it spends more than £95bn on welfare each year and has pledged £26m to fund breakfast programmes at schools.

Tracey Crouch, Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said: "I think what the school is doing is incredibly generous.

"There are many organisations around Medway supporting those in poverty, but it's for us in central government to make sure that nobody finds themselves in this level of poverty in the future."

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