Mail readers have given a mixed response over a £38,000 council pilot scheme to help feed children in poverty-hit families this summer.
The project, which will be partly delivered with Hartlepool Foodbank operators the Trussell Trust, has been given the green light by Hartlepool Borough Council.
I would agree to this, I was one of those kids and to this day am thankful we had somewhere to go in the summer for our dinnerMary Didzun
It is aimed to ensure children in need do not go hungry during the school holidays.
In a poll conducted on the Mail website, 52% of readers said they approved of the council using funds to feed the children.
Comments left on the Mail’s website and on Facebook further underlined how the public was split on the issue.
On Facebook, Mary Didzun wrote: “I would agree to this, I was one of those kids and to this day am thankful we had somewhere to go in the summer for our dinner.
“My Mum had five kids, dad was working and still couldn’t make it. How does that saying go? ‘Till you walk a mile in my shoes’.”
Debbie Kearns offered a similar view, saying: “I welcome it, too.
“It’s most essential to people, whether working or not in this day and age.
“There’s a lot of people out there on minimum wage who are no better off for working than they would be if not working, believe me.
“It’s a great scheme, and I’m so glad the council have done something for the children of Hartlepool.”
Councillors agreed the pilot project, which will run for the upcoming six-week school holidays.
Food parcels provided by the foodbank will be given out from three new distribution centres covering the north, south and central areas of the town.
And voluntary and community organisations will be invited to bid to the council for a share of £25,000 funding to deliver holiday hunger initiatives, such as providing meals.
Some Mail readers were not too keen on the project, though.
‘Poolie13’ wrote on the Mail’s website: “So wrong to just give away food parcels. Make parents attend classes on how to manage better without mobile phones, tabs, booze, Sky TV, Playstations, ipads and ONLY THEN give them a food parcel.”
Amy-Leigh Norris added: “Parental food budgeting classes need to be taught!
“We all know families who don’t work and claim benifits and eat takeaways every night.
“We, as a working family, can’t afford to do it, so why should they be able to?
“Batch cook and freeze home-made meals are so much healthier and cheaper.
“I don’t think the council are wrong for providing this service, as it’s not the childrens’ fault. They should not go without a meal.”
Carole Maitland said: “You can make meals quite cheaply, children don’t need to go hungry. Some parents just can’t be bothered.”