Britons lend helping hand to supply free meals on first day of half-term

People and businesses right across the country have taken to social media to share how they have helped feed hungry children on the first day of half-term.

Footballer Marcus Rashford, whose petition for free meals to be extended in England over the school holidays has passed 930,000 signatures, on Friday night put out a tweet asking local businesses to share how many complimentary children’s meals they had supplied on Monday.

The Manchester United forward’s post was quickly flooded with responses, with people, restaurants and community groups sharing their stories.

Dave Critchley, a chef who works with community group Knowsley Kitchen, said 700 meals had been supplied to children in Liverpool.

He tweeted: “Up to 1k planned each day for rest of the week. This isnt virtue signalling, this is desperately trying to raise awareness! We’ve been fighting hard since march to get food to where it needs to get to!”

Meat & Shake, a southern barbecue restaurant in Tooting, south London, said they had served 90 meals on Monday and hoped to supply 2500 meals by the end of the week.

They also took the opportunity to announce they would be supplying free meals to London’s homeless two nights a week for the rest of the year and into 2021.

The Stoke-on-Trent Mothers Support Network took Rashford’s campaign one step further, saying they had created 103 packages with a week’s supply of food in each one.

They said: “We have made up 103 packages of a weeks supply of food per package and have delivered 90 today with most of the rest ready for delivery tomorrow.”

The Eastern Spice Co said they had supplied 12 meals to people in Ipswich, however they hoped that number would increase over the coming days.

As well as sharing a drawing they had received from a thankful child, the Indian restaurant said they were “due to feed more than 25 tomorrow”.

“We suspect the numbers will increase as more find out about it.”

Meanwhile the Minikin Paint a Pot Art Cafe in Sale, Manchester said they had delivered 44 meals on the first day of half-term, while also sharing a passionate post about why they decided to support Rashford’s campaign.

“This is about … families that have just lost their jobs, are on furlough or had their hours cut and are fighting to keep the roof over their heads,” their post said.

“They are not eligible for free school meals and are trying to meet their living costs, that haven’t reduced, on the very (bare) minimum.

“They are you and I, this could happen to any of us.”