Meet the Corby community angels - funding, making and delivering free school meals
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A dad from Corby who experienced hardship as a child has rallied members of the community to fund, create and deliver hundreds of free school meals to people in need.
Guy Angel felt he could not stand by and watch children go hungry during the half-term holiday and joined forces with friend Lyndsey Longdin to coordinate providing food.
The group started on Friday evening after the announcement by the Government that free school meal provision would not be extended during October half term.
Mr Angel, a freelance agent, said: "It started off just me and there's no way I could do this on my own.
"I have had my own ups and downs during my life. I know what it's like to live in hardship - when I had nothing, people helped me out and it's something I'll never forget so if I can help, I will."
Helped by Asda and Morrisons in Corby the group produced 275 meals on Monday, a further 300 on Tuesday and are likely to hit the 500 mark today (Wednesday).
The packed lunches made by volunteers are available at shops, clubs and addresses across the town as well as home deliveries by Mr Angel to people in Corby villages, Kettering, Wellingborough and Northampton.
He said: "People can have the free lunches no questions asked. Some older people have also asked for the lunches and that's fine. We don't want anyone to go hungry and we don't want the food to go to waste."
Each bag contains a ham or cheese sandwich, a piece of fruit, a mini Swiss roll, a little bag of biscuits, a bag of Haribo, a drink, a packet of crisps and a yoghurt.
Ingredients for the bags have been donated or bought using cash donations from companies and individuals.
Stacey Mayes from Kettering has been working through the night to make the sandwiches and put together the bags ready for each morning which are distributed to the collection points.
She stayed up until 4am to complete the sandwiches before grabbing some sleep in time to return to her job as a hairdresser.
The 28-year-old mum said: "I just want to help. I don't want any children to go hungry."
University of Northampton student Lyndsey Hayes, from Corby, has donated £70 to the cause, with daughter Brooke Scott, nine, helping her mum put together the packs.
She said: "The world is sad enough without having starving children."
As well as Mr Angel's home deliveries, Brian Alexander, owner of Big B's Ices ice-cream van will be stocking the lunches on his van to give out on his rounds.
The other Corby locations that are stocking the free pack-ups are:
• Willowbrook (Premier)
• Big B's ices On the van as of 28/10/2020 (nn18 only) if you hear the chimes pop out & grab a lunch
• Skin Graffiti Town Centre ( Wood Street) MUST COLLECT TODAY. LIMITED HOURS IN STORE
• Danesholme Club (Motala Close)
• PETES Danesholme shop (Boden Close)
• Domino Pub (Kingsthorpe Avenue)
• Best-In (Lincoln way)
• Knights Lodge Pub (Tower Hill Road) 3pm-11pm
• Bewiched Coffee Shop (Corby Town Centre)
• Loco (Occupation Road)
• 53 Dumble Close (Oakley Vale) AFTER 1pm
• Corby News & Wine Town (Elizabeth Street)
• Everard Arms (Forest Gate Road)
• One Stop (Studfall Avenue)
• Poundland (Corby Town Centre)
• St James Snooker Hall
• McColls (Farmstead Road)
• Shire Pub (Willowbrook Road)
• Island Vape (Oakley Vale Shops)
Mr Angel added: "I would like to give a special mention to Skatehut, Corby and Tom Rogers for their truly amazing, huge donation.
"Other people who have donated are Lyndsey Longdin, Brian Alexander of Big B's ices, Charlotte Watt of MD Photography, Best Kebab House Burghley Drive, Matthew Bruce Haines and his company Wirelect, and Lyndsey Hayes for prepping pack lunches."
Lunch project co-organiser Lyndsey Longdin said: "We are all volunteers. It goes to show there's more than enough to go round.
"I've had to ask people for help in the past - I've been a single mum all my life - I work and I could give something. It's such a positive thing to do.
"Thanks to every single individual in and around Corby, for the donations of food.
"It doesn't matter if you have a nice car, house, clothes because things change and people go on to Universal Credit."
It is estimated that the group will hand out up to 3,000 meals by the time the project finishes on Sunday, November 1.
Mr Angel added: "The people of Corby have been absolutely brilliant. I can't fault them. When something like this happens they all pull together."
Free school meals are also being offered at the Autumn Centre in Counts Farm Farm, Corby, organised by Corby Council and funded by the money that would have been spent on the town's cancelled firework display.