Businesses across Cornwall are rallying behind families to make sure no child goes hungry this half term.
It is after a motion in parliament on Wednesday, calling for free school meals to be extended into half term and the Christmas school holidays, was voted against by a majority of MPs – including all six in Cornwall.
Read next: Cornwall’s MPs explain why they voted against school meals during half term
Earlier the Packet reported how Fiona Crump of the Castle Beach Cafe in Falmouth would be giving free packed lunches to anyone in need of one next week, with no questions asked.
Read next: ‘Horrified’ Falmouth cafe giving free lunches to kids in need after MPs say no
Now businesses and organisations across Cornwall have joined the action. They included:
Central Methodist Church, Helston
The church in Coinagehall Street will be opening between 12 noon and 1pm every day during half term, to give food out to families needing support.
Rev Danny Reed said: “So the government won’t help children in need to get meal vouchers during the school holidays. Once again we, the tax payers will.
“Central Methodist Church in Helston aims to care for the whole community. So, during half term those children or families who need lunch can come and get some resources and gifts of food from us between 12 noon and 1pm, Covid safe.
“Please spread the word to all who may be in need. If not near Helston why not try this yourselves and help those in need at this time.”
Ann’s Pasties, Helston, Porthleven and The Lizard
The company is offering anyone struggling a free small pasty for their child or children.
It said: “Here at Ann’s we know how much our friends and families enjoy our pasties and we are outraged at the government’s decision to not support families in need over the next few weeks, following the amazing recent campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.
“We want to offer any one struggling a free small pasty for your child or children. If you are worried or concerned about providing lunch for your family over the next two weeks please give us a call or email and pre order for pick up from any of our shops.
“Completely confidential and no purchase needed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org”
Crown Inn, Goldsithney
The pub became in involved after residents Nikki Fulcher and Jo Smith decided they want to do something after being left “saddened and feeling helpless” about the recent vote.
Nikki said: “Jo had the excellent idea of doing lunches from the hall but we were concerned about food hygiene regulations etc.
“That’s when Derek from The Crown Inn Goldsithney very kindly stepped in and said he would be happy to arrange from the pub.
“So we want to raise money to be able to give out a packed lunch style lunch to any child in need of it.
“We obviously only have the weekend to get this arranged so are asking for any money or food donations. Just think as little as £2 could prevent a child going to bed hungry. Please do donate if you can at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/food-for-children-in-need”
Salt & Vinegar, Helston
Managers at the fish and chip shop in Meneage Street will be coming in early each day to prepare packed lunches for children.
The team said: “Our children are our future and we, like many others around, want to protect them and see them flourish, so in light of recent events lead by the government to not extend free meals over half term we would like to offer help”
“We do not wish you to buy anything in the process, we simply just want to help anyone in need.
“We have all faced hurdles this year and our children should not have to be at this shortfall.
“With this, from now on our shop will always provide free bottled water and fruit for any children, please do not hesitate to ask.
“If you feel uncomfortable coming in to ask you can call us in confidentiality and we will happily prepare you a collection – 01326 565874.”
They added that they had since been left “utterly speechless” after unexpectedly receiving donations and contributions towards what they are doing.
Cafe CHAOS, Truro
The community cafe at Harrison House on the Threemilestone Industrial Estate said: “We believe no child should go hungry. Here at CHAOS we disagree with the 322 MPs that voted against the extension of free school meals over the school holidays.
“During half term we will be making free lunch bags for children who would normally have free school meals. Simply pop in to our cafe Recovery College Cornwall and ask for a CHAOS pack up bag. They will all be made with love.”
The Refill Store, Truro
The shop said anyone local whose child usually gets free school meals can contact staff for a free food pack to help through the holidays.
It said: “We are aware that times are tougher for many of us currently and we want to do all we can to support the community.
“Please email to arrange a collection or call 07885 465109. Please note these cannot be collected at Mr Fruity. There will be organised collections/deliveries from our Truro Store.”
After being “absolutely inundated” with offers of support, delivery driving and people wanting to help and donate, the shop has now set up a JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/therefillstore
The Searoom, St Ives
From the creators of St Ives Liquor, The Searoom said: “Legends like Marcus Rashford have made a real difference, but the government’s decision to not fund school dinners through the coming weeks is a step in the wrong direction.
“If you’ve got a hard week coming up, we’ve got free pack lunches available for anyone in the community that needs them. Totally confidential, give us a call or just turn up; we’re here from 11.30am every day.”
The Victory Inn, St Mawes
During half term next week the pub will be offering free lunch bags to those that normally have free school meals. Just pop in and ask one of the staff members.
- If you are a local business or organisation offering free meals to families next week and would like to be featured in the list email email@example.com with the details.