The annual food collection at University College School in Hampstead for the North Paddington Food Bank is now in its fourth year. It started in 2016 when a group of Year 10 boys decided to organise a collection amongst their group of friends following a discussion regarding food poverty during a form period. The collection has now grown into an annual “harvest” event and this year involved all three schools in the UCS Foundation. On Friday morning, over three and half tonnes of food and toiletries was donated in a collection which took place before school started.
The demand for food at the North Paddington Food Bank has increased significantly of late but this donation from the UCS community will make a huge difference to the work carried out there. The manager, James Quayle, commented, “The UCS donation is our biggest one yet. It is of huge importance to us and we cannot communicate how much we appreciate the effort that has been put in by the students to make this happen. This donation will mean that the food bank is well stocked for at least the next fortnight. We always notice an increase in demand after the summer and this will certainly help us to cope with this.”
Cobi Jacobs, 17, who has been fundamental in the organisation of the annual food donation since 2016 was pleased with the response of the UCS community to the collection, “We are delighted. It is overwhelming to discuss with James just how important this donation is to the food bank and the impact it has on the lives of people in the North Paddington area.” After launching this event three years ago, Cobi and his friends now volunteer at the food bank on a regular basis throughout the year.
Mark Beard, Headmaster at UCS was delighted with the continued success of the annual collection: “This is entirely organised by the pupils themselves and is a testimony to their community minded attitude. It was great to see the Sixth Formers working together with the younger pupils this morning. They packed the donation into 141 boxes and I would like to thank everyone in the Foundation who donated these items. I am now looking forward to seeing more events like this run after half-term during our Community Action programme.”