NEARLY 6,000 lunches have been delivered in just over a week to children across Dudley to ensure no child goes hungry during the coronavirus crisis.

The mammoth effort saw Dudley Council, Dudley Schools, Dudley Catering Services and Dudley Council for Voluntary Services unite to deliver lunches to youngsters who would normally receive free school meals.

The deliveries of 5,869 meals supported 25 primary and secondary schools while voucher schemes were put in place.

Other schools made their own arrangements, which included either dropping off meals or preparing food for families to pick up.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "This is a really good example of people coming together at a time of need to ensure that no child in the borough goes hungry while the government’s voucher scheme is put in place.

"We’ve seen council staff volunteer their time across all departments and services, from the mayor’s driver to social workers, from public health to housing.

"They’ve all clubbed together and what they have achieved is nothing short of amazing.

"I know they have been really gratefully received on the doorsteps by families in the borough.

"I would like to extend that by personally thanking each and every one of them, along with the volunteers from Dudley CVS, headteachers and staff at Dudley Schools and the members of Dudley Catering Service."

A government voucher system will be in place from April 20 after the Easter holidays which will give families £15 per eligible child per week to spend on food at supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons.

Support will also be available from foodbanks and charities for the most vulnerable children or families in real need over the two-week Easter school break.

Dudley CVS is working with other charities, faith settings, foodbanks and partners to also offer crisis support over the two-week Easter school break and beyond.

To find out how Dudley CVS can help you, call 01384 573381. The line is manned Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 12.30pm.