Staff volunteers from Wallace Hall have being busy providing free school meals (FSM), food boxes and study packs for pupils and their families.
Since the schools closed on Friday 20th March, teaching and support staff from Wallace Hall have given up their time willingly to ensure free school meals were readily available for eligible families. Guided by Alison Kennedy and her catering team, the first week of the lockdown saw meals being prepared, cooked and served in our school kitchen for the pupils to come in and enjoy, collect or be delivered to families who were either self-isolating or did not have access to transport.
As the lockdown guidelines got stricter, the FSM service was changed to a delivery only basis with school minibuses deployed to transport packed lunches to home addresses. Alongside this, in order to best support the learning of our young people, families who do not have access to ICT facilities were encouraged to contact the school for study packs for primary and BGE pupils, and these have been delivered to pupils in their homes.
However, this operation has now grown significantly. Supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council, our volunteer teaching, support and catering staff prepared, packed and delivered over 250 food boxes to families over the last two weeks. Using Dumfries and Galloway Council refrigerated vans and our school minibuses, teams of Wallace Hall staff followed routes round Mid and Upper Nithsdale to ensure everyone had food for the week ahead. These deliveries are to continue for as long as the lockdown situation continues.
It is thought that every family who is eligible and who wishes to receive their FSM Boxes is doing so. However, if you are eligible and still wish to sign up for this service, please do so on the Dumfries and Galloway Council website or contact our school office for support with this.
Mr Graham, Head Teacher at Wallace Hall, said: “I am really extremely proud of the sterling effort the catering, teaching and support staff at Wallace Hall have put in to support our families. From our volunteers on the front-line preparing and delivering food and resources, our key workers at the chalk-face in our main office and in the Learning Hub through to our staff working from home, all have been pulling together to ensure that our families have access to food, education and support throughout these challenging days. I am also very proud of how our young people and their families have adapted to a completely different way of learning and know that some excellent work has been going on in the community to ensure our pupils’ learning continues. I look forward to welcoming everyone back to Wallace Hall as soon as we are able but, for now, it is crucial that we all follow government guidelines: stay at home, stay safe and save lives”.