CHILD poverty in Ayr has been branded a disgrace by a restaurant owner whose business sent over 400 packed lunches to deprived kids in May.

Kind-hearted volunteers stepped in to help Unity Grill to ensure kids in North Ayr did not go hungry when their schools were shut over the two bank holidays.

The Sandgate restaurant provided rolls, fruit and bags of snacks from their kitchen as a team assembled in the early hours. And their owner, Angela Iver has branded the current situation a disgrace.

She told the Ayr Advertiser: “The whole town is absolutely outraged that this is happening. People should be angry about it; it shouldn’t be a story of that’s nice Unity Grill are doing that so we don’t have to think about it.”

“We’ve done this before.

"This week marked 390 lunches this month because nobody’s stepping in to fill the gap when kids are off school for random days for Bank Holidays or in-service days.

Those days don’t get thought about, so that is why we stepped in.”

“Children are not getting fed. It should be down to the state for providing for these children, it shouldn’t be up to private business to do that.

But that’s the gaps that are there, if we don’t step in who will? "

A team of volunteers from Business Club Ayrshire arrived early on Monday morning to help pack the bags, more volunteers from local businesses got involved on Tuesday. Angela has thanked the support shown but wants to everyone to come together to tackle the stigmas around poverty.

She added: “It’s amazing that volunteers come forward and come in at 8am in the morning to help, but there needs to be a balance where society needs to think about this. I know there will be lots of talk about what their parents spend their money on, but when you are seven you don’t have any autonomy over what your parents do.”

The packed lunches were transported to locations in Newton, Lochside and Whitletts on a bus by child poverty group 10:10.

Director Dylan Harper told the Ayr Advertiser: “Unity Grill became a partner of the project. It’s great they have got involved with us and supported it.

“When we started off it was all local families that made the meals.”