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Deal's Holiday Kitchen offering free lunchtime meals reopens for six-week summer holiday

By Eleanor Perkins

Families struggling to cope with the extra cost of meals during the six-week school holidays are getting a helping hand from Deal’s Holiday Kitchen.

The weekday service opens today for the summer break and is offering support to families in Deal and the surrounding area who receive income support and free school dinners.

It will run from the Parochial School in Gladstone Road for three weeks then return to Warden House in Birdwood Avenue, where it operated from during Easter.

Mum Gina Herbert with Julia Hallett from Whole School Meals
Mum Gina Herbert with Julia Hallett from Whole School Meals

Parent Gina Herbert, 30, of Park Avenue, has been working with Whole School Meals (WSM), a local lunch provider, to offer the service.

WSM is running the kitchen and providing the cooking staff as well as funding the project until the end of 2017. By then, it is hoped, more funding will be secured for the service.

Ms Herbert said: “I’d like to encourage all families who are feeling the stretch during the holidays to come and take advantage of this great project.

“It’s for the children and we will try to help you in any way we can.

"We have people from lots of different circumstances.

"No one judges, we all just have a lovely lunch and the kids get to eat and enjoy each other’s company.”

The project aims to ensure that children are able to eat at least one hot meal a day. Families say they also benefit from socialising for an hour.

The project is linked to Fair Share, which takes surplus food from supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste.

Holiday Kitchen’s doors open at 11.45am, serving food from noon until 12.30pm. It will be closed on August bank holiday Monday.

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