Education news

Hot meals delivered to pupils of north Belfast primary school after generous donation

Stacey McCluskey and Robyn McKee prepare meals donated to pupils at Seaview PS in north Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

ALTHOUGH the classrooms were eerily silent yesterday, the dinner hall in one Belfast school was a hive of activity.

An enthusiastic crew of teachers and dinner ladies had mobilised at Seaview Primary School to make sure no child would go without a hot meal - for one day at least.

With almost 100,000 children in Northern Ireland eligible for free school meals - a key indicator of deprivation - the closure of schools will see many pupils and their families lose a vital service.

Dinner ladies had already been at the school, which has been closed to pupils since Friday March 13, to make up food parcels for families in need earlier this week.

The owner of a catering company, who is herself facing uncertainty as the coronavirus disrupts small businesses across the north, then donated dozens of hot meals to the north Belfast school.

Within hours of the news on Thursday a team of staff had mobilised to see they got to where they were needed.

"We were phoning round this morning to see who needed some and whether they needed us to deliver," P1 teacher Robyn McKee said.

Parents who could began calling to the school doors at 10am and staff set off with their deliveries at 10.30am.

Principal Corinne Latham said the school was "overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity" of the donation.

"The lady is paying for this out of her own pocket.

"At times like this when there is little hope on the news, she is a little bit of light in the darkness.

"We are seeing the best of people in north Belfast."

Mrs Latham said the woman is making another donation on Monday and urged parents who need help to come forward.

"This isn't a time for pride, this is a time for community. It's a time to save money for when you will need it."

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