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North Paddington food bank ‘humbled’ after mammoth donation from UCS Hampstead teenagers

PUBLISHED: 17:11 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 October 2017

Joshua Naftalin (left) and Benjamin Byre ready to deliver some of the 33 boxes the school produced for the north Paddington food bank. Photo by UCS Hampstead.

Joshua Naftalin (left) and Benjamin Byre ready to deliver some of the 33 boxes the school produced for the north Paddington food bank. Photo by UCS Hampstead.

Archant

Charitable students at UCS Hampstead have clubbed together to give a mammoth donation to the north Paddington food bank.

What started as an off-the-cuff remark about helping people living in the community who are struggling to make ends meet turned into an almost military-like operation as students went about collecting more than two tonnes of produce for the Harrow Road food bank.

The boys packed the food into 33 boxes, each of which weighed around 65kg, and arranged for the school maintenance team to help with delivering the food – the only thing that wasn’t anticipated was that the school van alone would not be big enough to cope with the volume of produce sent in.

Benjamin Byre, 16, and a group of friends decided to collect food – which has already been given to people living in the community – earlier this month.

“We just wanted to do something that had a direct impact on people’s lives,” said Benjamin.

Joshua Naftalin, 15, who helped deliver the food, said: “We gave each year group in the school a specific item of food to buy.

“For example, we asked the Year 7 pupils to bring in pasta but we never expected such a massive response from the whole school community.”

Vanessa Rogers, a support worker at the food bank added: “We are overwhelmed by the size of the delivery.

“We have never received such a large donation and we are humbled by the organisation and work of these teenage boys.”

Pupils across the Frognal school are now busily planning events for UCS’s community action – a seven week period after the half-term break of creative fundraising for charities in the area and beyond.

It is not just the students who are making a difference in their community however, with parents’ association ‘the UCS parents’ guild’ getting in on the action with its winter fair.

The fair – which is taking place in the school’s great hall between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday, November 12 – is in aid of charity doorstep, which helps homeless families in Camden.

On the day there will be 30 stalls selling homeware, clothes and gifts.

For more information on how you can get involved with the food bank , visit npfoodbank.org.uk.

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