Village comes together to make sure everyone has enough to eat
30th December 2020
By Matt Dixon
A village’s response to top footballer Marcus Rashford's child poverty campaign has proven a big success over the Christmas period.
The Manchester United star began a petition after the government announced that they would not fund free school dinners during October half-term – and a movement to help families in Probus arose as a result.
Project lead and co-ordinator Eleanor McCartney said: “There was a lot of unhappiness on Facebook posts and I felt that if we all worked together we could get together as a village and support local families in need.
“A rapid response around the Probus area highlighted a number of families struggling and support was given to those coming forward.
“On the back of this, food help has been given since, in the form of over 40 food and care hampers.”
The primary aim of the villagers’ response, however, was to cover Christmas through food parcels – initially at the start of December and then a dinner hamper which the put together in the week before Christmas.
Eleanor said that during the eight weeks in the run-up to Christmas, the number of people needing help in the Probus area “significantly increased”.
She added: “Christmas time means stretched finances have been felt for many and circumstances very difficult, at a time traditionally seen as feasting, celebration and thanks.
“The responses from local people has been phenomenal with money, food items, toys and children’s treats being donated, but in order that the holiday hunger needs were covered, requests went out to businesses for their support to enable families and individuals to enjoy this festive period, whilst ensuring generous individual donations could be put to best use.”
Almost 100 people in Probus received Christmas food items and surrounding rural locations received ingredients for a Christmas meal, as well as treats such as yule log and mince pies.
Support for the rural community had additional help from Probus Young Farmers Sam Oatey and Tegan Arthur.
Eleanor added: “The need to support people has never been so stark in the rural communities, more so this year as we find ourselves in unprecedented times.
“Providing people with a traditional Christmas day meal, without the worry, but having time to enjoy was a hope, and only made possible with further support from a number of businesses around the Truro area.
“We would like to thank all those who have helped make Christmas 2020 a reality for those in need and once again show what rural localities can achieve when working as a community to provide support and help, even in seemingly bleak times.”
Businesses who made contributions included Primrose Herd (Redruth), Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose in Truro, Da Bara Bakery (Indian Queens), Southern England Farms (Hayle), Green Cow Dairy (Grampound), Trudgians Farm Shop (Probus), Probus School Filling Station, James Kittow, butcher (Par), Martin Yates, butcher (Newquay), Asda (St Austell), Resugga Farm Shop (St Stephen), Westcountry Fruit Sales (St Austell) and Mercedes Benz, Truro.
Christmas parcels were assembled by 18 volunteers who packed, wrapped and sent out hampers to 30 families totalling 130 people.
They were full Christmas dinners with fresh local produce and gifts and chocolates for children.
The group has no formal structure as yet, but can be found on Facebook page No One Goes Hungry in Probus and surrounding area.