Help a Hungry Child: Felix Project beats food poverty with second primary school scheme

Thanks to the generosity of Independent readers, children at Berrymede Junior School in west London won't be going to school hungry any more

Eleanor Rose
Friday 15 December 2017 11:43 GMT
One of the first happy customers at the Felix Project's new market stall at Berrymede Junior School in west London
One of the first happy customers at the Felix Project's new market stall at Berrymede Junior School in west London (Chris Gorman)

The Felix Project has officially launched its second scheme in a primary school, with an end-of-term giveaway for the holidays.

Berrymede Junior, in Acton Town, west London, now has its own food service thanks to the generosity of Independent readers and the work of the Felix Project, the charity partner for our Christmas Appeal.

As the school gates opened and children streamed out to meet their parents, the crowd gathering at Felix’s bright green gazebo found a bundle of recipe cards alongside piles of fruit and vegetables.

The recipes, which include soup, dhal and bruschetta, have been designed to help parents and children make the most of the food on offer.

As Christmas approaches, struggling families are even harder pressed — especially since the meals offered by the school will be unavailable.

The Help a Hungry Child appeal will help the Felix Project solve such problems using food that would otherwise go to waste.

And headteacher Lubna Khan said there was a real need for such a scheme.

She said she had seen children going hungry for “as long as I can remember”.

The symptoms are clear.

“They might be agitated,” she said. “Sometimes they might be obviously holding their stomachs.”

Other signs are disruptive behaviour and headaches.

But families not having enough food is not the only problem. The school’s regular surveys of parents suggest many are falling back on takeaways and ready meals when their budgets and time are stretched.

Part-time care worker Janet Kimani, whose daughter Patience, ten, attends Berrymede, said that although she sticks to supermarket own brands, she runs out between weekly shops.

Feeding a family of four on £60 (about 70 pence per meal, per person), she finds it hard not to turn to unhealthy options.

“It’s easier to buy the junk food because it’s cheaper,” said Mrs Kimani. “You can only stick to that certain amount of money to spend. I find by the end of the week you have to do without fresh food.”

She welcomed the Felix Project’s market stall as a vital source of fruit and vegetables.

Mrs Khan said an important aspect of the stall is that, as with the free breakfasts already provided by the school, everybody is welcome to take from it so no one feels singled out or embarrassed.

“Nobody wants to admit they’re in difficulty,” she said. “[But] considering it’s a Western country and we have our view of the ‘Third World’, so to speak, and we have our view of where we are, there are still issues and we can’t pretend they don’t happen.”

Here are the ways you can donate to our Christmas appeal:

Call – 08000 639281 (freephone)

Text – FELIX £5 TO 70700

Click –


Want to help a hungry child? Join our Facebook group now

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in