A YORK secondary school is setting up its own foodbank to help families struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Ahead of the start of the new school term York High School in Acomb is setting up a foodbank called the community cupboard.

It's just one of a number of steps the school is taking to try and help local families to try and mitigate the impact of rising bills.

Head teacher, Rod Sims, said the school's receptionist, Karen Tattersfield, has taken on the role of unpaid community champion and will be coordinating efforts.

"Our community is the most inclusive of all York schools and we are keen to get the support we provide right," said Mr Sims.

"As a school we are at the heart of the community. We want to help each other and see each other through this.

"In my 15 years at the school we have never been in a position as we are now where families are struggling already.

"We have come across situations where, through various reasons, students are living off just pasta all week - cooked pasta with no sauce - before their parents get to the next pay day or benefits day.

"Before the Summer we were already giving out energy bars to students who are not getting enough to eat."

York Press: Head teacher Rod Sims and community champion Karen Tattersfield at the Community CupboardHead teacher Rod Sims and community champion Karen Tattersfield at the Community Cupboard

Mr Sims said the school, which has 750 pupils, is looking for individuals or businesses who can help to drop off donations of dried and tinned goods, but not fresh food, from this week at the school reception or contact Karen.

He said the foodbank will be a discreet service and will be run not from the main school, but from a building near the entrance to the Energise car park.

"People are proud and quite rightly so. We have got to realise  that and that everybody needs help sometimes," said Mr Sims.

The operation will be up and running by September 12 and students will be told about the foodbank in assemblies.

The school is also looking at school uniform with jumpers in blue and black, shirts and PE kit available from their pre-loved uniform shop.

Mr Sims said the uniforms serve to ensure that everyone looks the same - students don't have to think about what they are going to wear and they don't give away who has more money.

He said there are certain items the jumpers (priced at £16.50-£21 depending on the size), ties (£5) and PE shirts (£12) and PE tops (£11) which come from a supplier, but all other items can be bought from the supermarket.

There is also a voucher scheme for children on free school meals where £80 covers the cost of these compulsory items in Year 7 and there is a similar £45 voucher for pupils in Years 8,9 and 10.

York Press: Head teacher Rod SimsHead teacher Rod Sims

Mr Sims said: "If you wish to give a small donation this will go towards our community cupboard if not the items are free of charge.

"If you wish to see what we have to offer contact Karen Tattersfield through a direct message on our facebook site or by emailing k.tattersfield@yorkhigh.southbank.academy.

"If you have any spare uniform you can donate please drop it into the school reception or contact Karen."

The school is also part of the Red Box Project which is designed to tackle period poverty and stocks a number of sanitary products available to help those who are struggling financially. 

Mr Sims said: "If you have any ideas about how we can help or if you are keen to help out please get in touch with me on r.sims@yorkhigh.southbank.academy"