A ‘Ray of Light’ for Durham, Sunshine Day Nursery

Ingredients to make pizza, pancakes and fruit kebabs, even during the pandemic, Kelly and her team were supporting their nursery’s families

FareShare North East has been supporting Sunshine Day Nursery, located in East Durham, for three years now. With the nursery closed at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kelly and her colleagues went the extra mile to ensure that children from families on low-income were still being supported by delivering food parcels.

Food Packs For Families During Lockdown

These parcels also include recipe cards for the items provided and the nursery is mindful of guiding the families and children towards more healthy options by including details on how to use lesser-known vegetables, such as butternut squash. “What we find is a lot of in-work families are in poverty. Self-employed people are suffering; others are on furlough. Most don’t know where the next pound is coming from”, explains Kelly. Sunshine Day Nursery also offers Covid-secure access to a community pantry, which has been a valuable resource for families in the local community.

“Thanks to FareShare North East I am still able to get vital food parcels out to our nursery families every Thursday”

Kelly states “some children won’t get a big dinner at home, so we’re able to make sure they’re filled up with food all day”. In March 2020, just before the lockdown, the nursery was awarded outstanding by OFSTED.

This was in part due its amazing food provision to children from low-income families. Kelly mentioned that Jan, the nursery’s in-house cook, would cook warm meals for over 30 children every day, from bangers and mash to mince and dumplings. The food from FareShare North East has eased the nursery’s tight budget, as “it means that the tiny little bit of other money that we do have left goes towards other things like paint and glitter and crafts that kids use to play with”, says Kelly. The nursery have seen first hand the impact of a good meal on children’s development, stating that “I know I can’t think straight when I’m hungry. By us being able to give kids breakfast and a snack, they’re able to concentrate better”.

“FareShare North East keeps us well supplied with surplus food”


A Helping Hand At Christmas

In December 2020, Sunshine Day Nursery were awarded the Kids@Christmas grant from FareShare UK. This extra money enabled Kelly and her team to make special efforts to spread some Christmas cheer to families by delivering food parcels. These parcels included raw ingredients to make fresh pizza, pancakes, fruit kebabs and small cakes to encourage the whole family to spend quality time together to make the dishes! Alongside the food parcels, the nursery also distributed activity booklets which were well received with the children. Kelly mentioned that families really enjoyed the festive parcels, even sharing pictures of the nursery on their Facebook page.

“The nursery inbox the week before Christmas was pinging everyday with photos and feedback from kids and families of what they were making. It really helped to bring a little festive cheer to the community”, Kelly says. Kelly and her team at Sunshine Day Nursery are making amazing efforts to ensure the nursery’s families are well supported throughout the duration of the pandemic whilst keeping the children’s bellies full, which is truly inspiring to see. FareShare North East continues to provide food assistance to amazing groups, such as Sunshine Day Nursery, who turn it into nutritious meals for those at risk of food insecurity.



Does your charity or community organisation support vulnerable people with food? Find out more about a FareShare North East Membership.