The Halal Candy Corner, a family run sweet shop based in Alum Rock, have pledged to extend their emergency food scheme to support struggling families over the winter lockdown.
In response to the “disgusting” free school meals received by many families across Birmingham, a spokesperson confirmed that they would be extending the scheme they launched in the October half-term.
The government have been heavily criticised by the public in recent days for failing to provide adequate free school meals for children.
“We didn’t want to stop”
A representative for the Halal Candy Corner confirmed that they had “never stopped” providing emergency food for families in need.
“It’s not a gimmick – kids needing food is not something that’s in today and gone tomorrow. If there’s a need there’s a need.”
They are to provide struggling families with emergency parcels including bread, long-life milk, pasta, soup, sweets and other essential items.
Many business which had offered to step in and help families over half-term, have today informed Birmingham Eastside that they are no longer able to do so.
“We wanted to do our bit”, a spokesperson for the Candy Corner said.
“Even though we have suffered ourselves over lockdown, we realise it has to be a localised response.
“The fact that these food parcels can be considered sufficient and nutritious is just mind-blowing.”
“We even had nurses reach out”
The Halal Candy Corner is situated in the Birmingham Hodge Hill constituency, the 2nd most deprived in the country.
They saw a huge demand for food over the half-term period.
“We even had nurses working for the NHS who reached out to us. This shows the true extent of the problem.”
“Although we ran it ourselves, we had so many offers of support from people in the community – it’s a team effort. It’s much more than the central government is doing.”
The news may come as a great relief to the many parents around Birmingham who expressed outrage over inadequate food parcels.
“There’s not even a loaf of bread”, said one Birmingham mum.
“The message it sends to me is that the health of our kids is not important. I’m grateful for the food but there is still nowhere near enough.”
The Halal Candy Corner are encouraging families to reach out via Instagram should they need food. They also run a delivery service for families who are shielding.
“It’s like something out of Oliver Twist”
Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Erdington, led a chorus of criticism from Birmingham MP’s over these “disgraceful” food parcels.
“It’s like something out of Oliver Twist”, he said.
Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green Tahir Ali said they were an “insult to the dignity of our communities”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised a full review.