Coronavirus: Thieves steal Essex school's food meant for key workers' children

Chris Robertson, news reporter
Four freezers were stolen from the school's kitchen. Pic: Gosfield School

A school in Essex has had food stolen from its kitchen - days before it was due to provide support for the children of key workers.

Gosfield School in Halstead says it suffered the "extensive" burglary over weekend, where thieves took four commercial-sized freezers of food and most of the dry and chilled produce in the kitchen.

Last week, the government announced schools would be closed indefinitely from Monday and only open for the children of people identified as "key workers" during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement on Facebook, the school said: "Of course this means that we are unable to feed the children of critical workers who are attending school today, and the staff who have kindly volunteered to come in and run the skeleton operation to make this work, and we won't be able to feed the children and staff for the foreseeable future.

"Members of staff have been into Halstead to purchase food early this morning but with restrictions on what they are allowed to purchase this is not straightforward.

"Therefore we would respectfully request that all children of key workers who are attending school bring along a packed lunch, nut free snacks and a water bottle."

The school added that CCTV footage shows the theft took place late on Friday night or early on Saturday morning.

In light of the theft, people have offered the school some food to help them feed staff and children, and a local company has offered them a chest freezer for storage.

Essex Police said in a statement they had received a report about the burglary and appealed for information.

They said: "If you saw anything, have any CCTV or dash cam footage, or have any other information please call us on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/44904/20 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."