Free meals for schoolchildren project gets under way

Cllr Bright standing in a kitchen

Cllr Bright visiting the new GMSP kitchens earlier this year. - Credit: Hertsmere Borough Council

Nearly 140 Hertsmere schoolchildren per day have been receiving a hot, nutritious meal from Monday, 21 December thanks to the council’s free meals project for the Christmas holidays. 

The food, with a varied daily menu, is being cooked by GMSP Akshaya Patra Kitchen in Watford.

GMSP Foundation supports marginalised communities across the UK and in India. 

Hertsmere Borough Council is taking care of the logistics and transportation, whilst invaluable voluntary support co-ordinated by Communities 1st will see the meals delivered directly to the home addresses of the children who have been registered onto the scheme. 

READ MORE: Plans for no Hertsmere schoolchild to go hungry this Christmas

Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, Cllr Morris Bright said: “Hertsmere acted quickly to ensure that families who are struggling financially don’t have to worry about getting a hot meal for their children during the Christmas holidays.


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"With so much financial uncertainty at present, it's crucial local councils continue to act and provide support. 

“I’m very grateful to the GMSP Foundation and Akshaya Patra for their very generous and proactive offers of support in looking after the borough’s children.  My thanks too to the staff at our council who have worked so hard on organising this project and to Communities 1st and their volunteers for their invaluable help.

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"A final word to the Arsenal in the Community project and Herts Sports Partnership for providing activity packs to include with the packages that the children will be receiving.” 

Ramesh Sachdev, co founder of GMSP Foundation said: “The holidays can be a difficult time for many families, especially after the challenging year we have all faced.

"We are pleased that GMSP Foundation is able to lend a helping hand to our neighbouring families at this important time by providing them with hot and nutritious meals."

A parent from Potters Bar, whose child is receiving meals through the project, commented: "I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved in making this happen." 

Another Potters Bar parent commented: "I must say this is a fabulous idea and many families including mine benefit from this, especially with the effect from furlough payments."

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