STUDENTS and school staff have shown that the Christmas spirit is alive and well by donating a mountain of food to their local food bank.
More than 1,000 students at The Academy at Shotton Hall, in Peterlee, have donated tins, packets, dried food and treats to East Durham Trust’s Food Emergency East Durham (FEED) project.
The initiative provides food to people who are in crisis and trust bosses have revealed that more than 60 food parcels are handed out a week, with the number rocketing to more than 100 in the week before Christmas.
So the donation from the school, along with others including Asda and Peterlee’s HM Revenue and Customs offices, couldn’t have come at a better time.
Val Bell, head of pastoral care at the Academy, in Waveney Road, said: “I am very proud of the students and their families for donating such a huge amount of food to the charity.
“The students were hugely enthusiastic about the scheme and to see the donations mount up has really brought home the true spirit of Christmas.”
East Durham Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “This is a heart-warming example of human kindness at its best and destroys the negative image all too often portrayed of young people.
“Sadly demand for the FEED service goes through the roof at this time of year but gestures like this will help us to respond to local need.”
The FEED project relies on donations of food or cash from the public and from local businesses.
Collection boxes are springing up around the local area to support the cause.
A typical parcel will contain bread, milk, pasta and pasta sauce with the aim of providing a balanced diet for up to three days.
The Academy at Shotton Hall choose the project to help people in the local community, especially at this time of year.
But students also recognise that this is an ongoing struggle and plan to help out all year round by setting up a trolley for constant donations in the school.