A WEST Belfast cafe is starting a breakfast club this week, offering a free meal for local schoolchildren.

Applejacks on the Glen Road will start the initiative from today, Monday (November 21), from 8-9am.

Teresa Sheppard, from Applejacks, said she wants to do her bit to ensure no child goes hungry before school in the morning.

"We have several schools close to us on the road," she explained. "We are noticing more and more that kids are coming in here, sitting back and not having anything because they don’t have any money.

 

"I am a parent myself with three kids and I wouldn’t like to think my child had no food at breakfast or lunchtime. Everybody is struggling at the moment with the price of food and energy bills.

"The idea of launching a breakfast club is to ensure no local child is hungry. There will be cereals, toasts and fruits all set up for them to come in and help themselves.

"Anything left over will be available after school for them to take home."

The initiative is being supported by Paul Doherty, who runs Foodstock Community Response in Andersonstown.

"It is a fantastic initiative and Foodstock are very happy to support in any way we can," added Paul. "Sadly, it is something that is much needed. I am hearing every day of distraught parents who send their kids out to school with no breakfast.

"Kids need a full stomach to go into school and learn and be the best that they can. I have to commend the team at Applejacks for this initiative. We need our community more than ever to help us through this very difficult time.

"At Foodstock, we are operating seven days a week, day and night to help local families.

"We are getting out to 450 houses a week. It is heartbreaking to see this happening in 2022 in our communities."