You don’t need us to tell you times are extremely tough right now for families as the cost-of-living crisis bites. But of course for some it’s harder than others.

To help Theale Green School have been working with MCKS – a charity that provides provides schools across the country with food, toiletries and sanitary products. At the moment the school is supporting five families in our school community but would like to help more.

Wendy Sanders, Senior Student Support Manager and Attendance Officer at TGS, explains how the school became involved with the charity.

“MCKS charity sent an e-mail about a year ago explaining they were a foodbank charity. I knew we had pupils in school we already supported, but felt we need to also be looking at our parents as well.

“We started working with the charity about seven weeks before we broke up for the summer – I get a delivery every week of dried goods that comes from either Asda or Tesco’s and it typically includes long life, milk, sugar, cereals, squash, beans, spaghetti, rice, pasta, biscuits, tinned fish, tinned meat, custard, tinned fruit, jam… also shower gel, toothbrushes and toothpaste.”

Wendy is keen to point out that the parcels are given out discreetly and non-judgementally. Confidentiality is always maintained.

“Parents collecting don’t need to come into the main reception, it’s completely away from the children and we don’t have parents meeting each other collecting their packages – we totally respect their privacy.”

How does the school identify those families that need support?

“There are families we know are struggling and we did reach out. But we also invite families to get in touch themselves – we recently sent out a communication on the Parent Sway for example. I understand it’s hard for people to come forward, it’s not easy to admit that you need a bit of support, but I always say to those who have, you’ve done the hardest thing so far. You’ve actually asked for help, and that’s got to be a huge, huge thing.”

If you would like to speak Wendy confidentially, please do get in touch via the school.

For those who would like to help support their community with food and toiletry donations, please don’t bring them to the school but please instead donate to your local foodbank – there is one at Theale Church.

Alternatively you can donate to MCKS Charitable Foundation here