A PRIMARY school has opened on Christmas Day to serve hot meals to families who cannot afford it.

The Christ C of E First School in Somerset has opened its doors to provide free meals to more than 100 people struggling this year.

It has been in high demand and is part of the Big Christmas Get Together, which has been hosted by the Frome Town Football Club for the past eight years.

The event provides free food, transport, gifts and entertainment to underprivileged families and people struggling with loneliness.

Frome Town FC said they had “outstripped supply” after the demand was too much to hold everyone so Christ Church headteacher Rupert Kaye offered the school as an extra venue.

The primary school is joining the effort to combat “the modern-day curses of food and energy poverty” as well as loneliness.

Mr Kaye told The Metro some families in the area cannot afford to heat or light their homes during the day, including winter months.

He said: “That means that some children will actually spend some days in the dark, huddled under a duvet. We also know that some children will not eat a hot home-cooked meal for the whole of the two-week Christmas break.”

The costs of the event are funded by donations and it is run by volunteers.

Frome Town FC are at full capacity with 110 guests and the school is booked for at least 30 guests to attend.

All the guests will receive a three-course Christmas lunch.

Mr Kaye added: “In addition, several school staff have already volunteered to come in on Christmas Day to set up, help out and tidy away afterwards.”

Christ Church School is in one of the most deprived areas of Somerset where the number of kids receiving free school meals has increased from 40 per cent to 51 per cent in 18 months, Mr Kaye said.

He said food and fuel have gone up in price as well as working parents’ incomes not increasing with inflation have contributed to the situation.

Mr Kaye expects the Christmas lunch to be more popular next year after word of mouth spreads through the town.