The Felix Project has launched its third primary school market stall funded by The Independent’s Christmas appeal.
Thanks to readers’ generosity, a fruit and vegetable stand was set up at Hazel Community Primary School in Leicester, the first school to benefit from donations outside of the capital.
Pupils and their parents flocked to the playground stall to make the most of an end-of-term giveaway of fresh produce for children to take home for the festive season.
Families stocked up on nutritious food including bananas, apples, carrots and mushrooms that would otherwise have been thrown away.
Parent Michelle Hyde, whose children Remi-Mae, 9, and Faye, 7, attend the school, was overwhelmed by the amount of produce on offer.
She said: “It is an amazing thing, I would love to see this happen more. Faye loves peppers and she chose the biggest one on the stall. They will be looking forward to eating the food this evening.”
Sana Abbad, who has three children, said: “It’s a great market, I can’t believe that this food would be thrown away. It’s good quality.”
The market stall scheme is at the heart of The Independent and London Evening Standard’s Help a Hungry Child Christmas appeal.
Money raised during the campaign will go to The Felix Project, which will use it to open similar stalls in 120 deprived schools in London, with the programme expected to be rolled out further afield.
Recipe cards with tips on how to use the produce were also made available to parents.
Mother-of-six Nicola Allen Jones previously told The Independent she would like to buy more fruit and vegetables for her family, but is unable to because of rising food prices.
Her six-year-old Summer was one of the first in line for food at the Hazel market stall, making a beeline for the fruit.
“Summer chose all the things she likes to eat so it helps that she will be happy when we eat tonight,” Ms Allen Jones said.
Headteacher Gillian Blatherwick said the event was “heartwarming”.
“It was absolutely perfect for the end of term, and so appropriate to the ethos of our school,” she said.
“So many of our families are in the UK from overseas for a range of reasons – this is something that they will take away with them across the world.”
The Felix Project has been working since 2016 to fight hunger with leftover in-date produce that would otherwise have been destined for landfill, responding to the twin demons of food poverty and food surplus.
Every £1 donated will ensure a primary school child and their family has the food needed for a nutritious meal. £500 will enable a new school to be recruited to the programme.
Here are the ways you can donate to our Christmas appeal:
Call – Freephone – 08000 639 281
Text – FELIX £5 to 70700
Click – independent.co.uk/helpahungrychild
Post – Freepost – HELP A HUNGRY CHILD
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