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Half Term Hampers with Abby

Over half-term, 50 families in the Abbey ward of Cambridge received a fruit and veg box and a pancake day hamper as part of the Half-Term Hamper appeal, an initiative between community group Abbey People and The Leys, with the help of the Cambs Fruit Co.

Cambridge was already the UK’s most unequal city when the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, further exacerbating existing economic and social inequalities. Families who typically receive free school meals during term time have faced further difficulties ensuring their children receive nutritious meals during the holidays. Abbey People, a community group seeking to support the residents of Abbey, Cambridge’s most deprived ward, and The Leys worked together on an initiative which would help families during February half-term.

Together, Abbey People and The Leys created the Half-Term Hamper appeal. The Leys community was asked to collect hampers of pancake ingredients and store cupboard basics, and deliver them to the Abbey Food Hub based at Barnwell Baptist Church. There was a swift response to the appeal, with current pupils and their families, Old Leysians and their families, and staff members contributing a total of 50 hampers.

In addition, a grant from the Community Fund, an initiative between The Leys & St Faith’s Schools Foundation and Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, was secured to cover the cost of 45 boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and eggs from the Cambs Fruit Co to accompany the dry ingredients. The boxes also came with recipe cards for pancakes, teaching children cooking skills and ensuring the perfect pancake every time. A member of the public who saw the appeal also kindly donated five extra boxes, bringing the total to 50. Members of the Leys community also lent a hand delivering the hampers, in time for the cooking of some flipping brilliant pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

The families who received a hamper reported that they were very helpful: “At the time we received it we had just run out of most things and I was ill with a child in isolation so having food delivered was a HUGE God send. Thank you so much!”

Thank you to everyone in the Leys community who took part, and we look forward to continuing working with Abbey People. Abbey Food Hub will continue to operate through the spring at least, and are accepting donations.