A primary school has been “overwhelmed” with support after thieves broke in and stole freezers and food that would have fed key workers’ children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Burglars broke into Gosfield School, near Braintree, Essex, on Friday and took four commercial-sized freezers of food, dry food and all the chilled food from the fridges.
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.”
Staff had to call the families of the children due at school on Monday and tell them to bring a packed lunch.
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.”
The school has now had enough food donated, and places to store it, to last it until the end of the term on Friday.
She 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.”
Anyone with any information about the theft is encouraged to contact the school on 01787 474040 or Essex Police quoting crime reference number 42-44904-20.