School Children Support Local Food Banks with Harvest Festival

Do you have memories of attending a Harvest Festival Assembly at your Primary school or at your local church?

Most who attended a primary school in the UK when they grew up will be able to recollect their annual harvest festival, celebrated around harvest time. The occasion has been celebrated since pagan times, but more recent celebrations include singing hymns, praying and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food. In schools a similar approach takes place with the emphasis being an expression of gratitude and thanks for our everyday well-being, with donations brought in and offered up by all celebrants, to help those more in need.  

Wheelock Primary School harvest picture

The five schools in the Learning for Life Partnership Academy Trust will be helping to keep the tradition alive and also ensuring that local food banks are benefitting from the many tins, packets and cartons that it collects. In the spirit of never missing an opportunity to learn, develop, collaborate and build friendships, the festival has morphed into a cross-school project with each school’s Religious Education coordinator helping steer the Harvest Festival project this term and mobilise the children to bring produce into school to share with their communities through their local foodbanks.  As well as inspiring collaboration, the Harvest project fits well with the Partnership’s values of integrity, aspiration, respect and courage.

The 5 school cross site project will commence with a Harvest assembly, at which the children will be encouraged to bring a tin, packet or carton of food into school.  After assembly the food gifts will be delivered to five different food banks in Nantwich, Shavington, Congleton, Sandbach and Crewe.  The harvest produce will provide a very welcome boost to the food banks in our area as during lockdown, the food banks were very well supported by their local communities but recently the shelves have been emptying rapidly and there is now a shortage in basic commodities. The Harvest initiative has already been well received!

Alexia Stockton from St Paul’s Centre in Crewe exclaimed, “It’s wonderful that Leighton Academy will be collecting for the foodbank.”

The food bank in Sandbach also sent a message to Wheelock Primary school to say “Thank you so much for thinking of the Sandbach food bank. We would be very pleased to receive food donations”

Laura Simms, RE leader at Shavington Primary school, said “‘The children at Shavington Primary school are all very excited to bring in their donations for the food bank. We are delighted to be working with St Mark’s Church in Shavington to help provide food for St Paul’s Pantry in Crewe. It has been a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn about food banks and how vital they are for the community.’

James Bancroft, Principal at Wistaston Church Lane Academy, asked “If you are a parent or guardian of a child who attends one of our schools your support with this project would be very much appreciated.  Could you please take your contributions to the school in the week beginning Monday 11th October?” He went on to say, “we know the foodbanks do a fantastic job in the community and we are so pleased to be able to focus on this forthcoming celebration and let the children see what a big difference they can make.”