ABOUT 5 000 vulnerable children in Victoria Falls went without food Friday after the planned nationwide protests on the day saw the suspension of a feeding scheme that has been running for the past two weeks.

The Covid-19 local taskforce initiated a feeding scheme early this month targeting to feed about 9 000 vulnerable children in the country’s tourism capital with hot lunches from Monday to Friday.

The number was brought down to 5 000 as the target.

However, the vulnerable children were left hungry Friday after the feeding scheme was forced to cancel due to a lockdown and residents’ travel restrictions.

In a statement, the local taskforce said police on patrol Thursday banned the feeding scheme.

“Dear all! We are not conducting feeding programme at the request of ZRP,” the taskforce said.

The feeding takes place every Monday to Friday with the exception of weekends and there are seven feeding points at schools and churches in Mkhosana and Chinotimba high-density locations.

Some children who had missed the message went to feeding points and found no one while other parents responded angrily, castigating the organisers of the botched protests for disrupting the scheme.

“Today (Friday) our children are not going to get free food from the seven feeding points dotted around Victoria Falls because of this day. This is not right and our children will starve,” one parent complained after learning the free lunch would not be available.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 taskforce has made an appeal for more donations to continue with the programme.