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Food for key workers’ children worth thousands of pounds stolen from village school

PUBLISHED: 20:06 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:58 24 March 2020

Thousands of pounds worth of food and the freezers it was stored in has been stolen from Gosfield School in Essex  Picture: GOSFIELD SCHOOL/PA

Thousands of pounds worth of food and the freezers it was stored in has been stolen from Gosfield School in Essex Picture: GOSFIELD SCHOOL/PA

Thousands of pounds worth of food set aside at an Essex school for the children of key workers has been stolen by thieves.

Freezers, food and kitchen equipment was stolen from the school in Halstead  Picture: GOSFIELD SCHOOL/PAFreezers, food and kitchen equipment was stolen from the school in Halstead Picture: GOSFIELD SCHOOL/PA

Gosfield School, in Halstead, Essex, said it has been “overwhelmed” with support from the community after thieves broke in to steal food and the freezers it was stored in on Friday, March 20.

Four commercial-sized freezers of food, dry food and chilled food from fridges were stolen during the break-in, on top of equipment including gloves and clingfilm.

The theft was discovered on Mother’s Day by a senior member of staff who had gone to collect a minibus to do the school run on Monday.
Registrar Caro Daniels told the PA news agency: “They took about £6,000 worth of food. All of the dry goods, even the catering equipment, things like clingfilm, plastic rubber gloves, literally everything they could get their hands on.”

Parents were contacted by the school and told to bring packed lunch in for their children on Monday morning.

The community has come together to pay for replacement food in order to keep the school open for key workers' children  Picture: GOSFIELD SCHOOL/PAThe community has come together to pay for replacement food in order to keep the school open for key workers' children Picture: GOSFIELD SCHOOL/PA

Ms Daniels said: “It was a big shock, especially on Mother’s Day. We’ve got some families where mums are critical care nurses in intensive care. And they don’t want to be sending their children to school, but they’ve got to.
“And to have to phone them up, and say, oh, by the way, can you make your child a packed lunch? Yeah, it’s just, you know, it’s just not what they need at the moment.”

In light of the coronavirus crisis, the community has come together to offer food for the independent school and its pupils – as well as offers to replace the appliances.
Ms Daniels said: “We’ve had so many offers of help. Restaurants that haven’t been able to use their food. People ringing and saying: ‘We will give you money.’ People have offered to lend us freezers.
“We have seen the very worst of humanity and the very best of it today.”
Ms Daniels added the school now has enough food and supplies to keep the school open until the end of term on Friday, March 27.
Anyone with any information about the theft is encouraged to call Essex Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 42/44904/20.


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