Liberton church serves up 20,000 cheese toasties in three years for local schoolchildren

Volunteers have made 20,000 toasties since the project began.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 6:00 am

An Edinburgh church has served up 20,000 toasties to local school children in the last three years, on some occasions seeing kids lining up around the block in anticipation of their cheesy treat.

Toastie Tuesday at Liberton Northfield church attracts around 180 youngsters from Liberton High School every week during term time for lunch.

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Volunteers have served up 20,000 toasties in three years.

It is a joint project between the congregation of the church and Young Life International, a Christian non-profit organisation.

The weekly event at the church hall often sees children lining up around the church to wait for their toasties.

Rosie Ozkan, who is in S6, said: “Toastie Tuesday is the highlight of my week. I love it and look forward to it because the food is good and so cheap.

The 17-year-old added: “The church is very welcoming and good people run it.”

Her friend Jack Baigan , also 17, said: “It is a really good atmosphere, all the volunteers are very nice and the food is good.”

Xbox and Fifa available

The children are offered the chance to speak to the church volunteers about their lives or the Christian faith.

They can also make use of an XBox where they can play Fifa during their lunchtime break.

Jack added: “The volunteers come over a lot and speak to us and you feel like you could speak to them about all sorts of different things because they are so friendly and welcoming.”

The youngsters enjoy a heavily subsidised lunch, as from £1 they can buy a toastie, soft drink and either a cookie, muffin or packet of crisps.

The top-selling toastie is cheese and ham, and while hot dogs are also available the toasties prove more popular.

Church member Fiona Sturrock buys 30 loaves of bread a week for the toasties, which are made on six machines with four berths each.

She said: “It is a great joy to welcome children from all faiths and none into the church.

“It is a safe space and we give them a lovely warm welcome and encourage them to eat the odd piece of fruit which is more challenging.

“For some young people it is the only decent meal they will have that day.

“We are vigilant to the fact that sometimes young people come along and will hang back because they don’t have any money and after a bit of coaxing they will accept a toastie.”

The project has come a long way since its first day in 2016, with only three visitors.