An annual initiative to feed the hungry through reading this year provided hundreds of meals to those in need.

Launched in 2014, the Read and Feed initiative is a month-long campaign to raise food items while promoting reading.

The brainchild of Karen Camara, a Grade 1 teacher at Mount Saint Agnes Academy, the event began as a one-off event held in February involving students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 at the school, with children collecting pledges in the form of non-perishable food items from friends and family members.

Mrs Camara said the benefit was twofold: “For the kids to hone their reading skill, while growing their passion for reading, and for those in need to be fed.”

Jennifer Mahoney, executive director of The Eliza DoLittle Society, said 1,900 meals were provided this year through the organisation’s food bank, located in Warwick.

“On behalf of our clients, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to MSA for their dedication and look forward to another successful year in 2018,” Ms Mahoney said.

Mrs Camara, she said, should be “applauded” for a programme that encourages reading while helping those in need.

Beginning this month, students at Saltus Grammar School began contributing to the programme as well by designing various forms of promotional materials.

Winning entries were provided by Mia Barker, Austin Dowling and Honor Minors.

The Berkeley Institute will also be taking part in the programme this fall.

Phyllis Curtis-Tweed, principal at the institution, said that the school was “pleased to engage the school community in a programme of such benefit to our island”.

Ms Mahoney said other schools will help expand the programme in the next school year.

“Many thanks to the students and school administrators for their ongoing support and enthusiasm,” she said.