By Scarlet McBride – Gazette Live – Full Story Here
St Gabriel’s Catholic Voluntary Primary Academy, Ormesby, has seven weeks off this summer and headteacher Lindsay Phelps wanted to provide families with at least one meal a week they didn’t need to pay for, or cook.

For the first few weeks she paid for the food out of her own pocket. But little did she know the school would feed hundreds of families this summer.

Ms Phelps said: “At first I didn’t know how many would come. We’ve been feeding around 200 people here every week, if not more. It’s open to everyone, not just children from St Gabriel’s. From babies to secondary school age, everyone is welcome.”

It’s Ms Phelps’ second year as headteacher at St Gabriel’s, and for her it’s important they offer events to the wider community.

“It’s nice to reach out. We put on different sporting activities outside. Staff are going around chatting and it breaks down barriers between us and the parents.”

And what about the food?

“We’ve had a picnic outside, pizza, spaghetti bolognese and the children can’t get enough of the little sausages. My partner’s here, my mum’s in the kitchen and my daughter’s taking the photographs. This means a lot to me. There’s a real need for community events.”

Shaunna Cronin, 28, and her daughter Poppy, seven, have been coming every week.

“She loves it,” said Shaunna.

“They get to come here and be with their friends. Seven weeks is a long time to be off. She misses her friends and the teachers. It doesn’t affect me as much, but some kids get free school meals and it helps the parents. I’ve started speaking to parents who I’ve not spoken to before. Poppy loves playing outside with her friends.”

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