COMPANIES and community groups across Swindon have backed Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty campaign by offering support to struggling families over the half-term.
This comes after the government voted not to extend the free school meals scheme over the school holidays.
Below is a list of places in the borough who are providing free meals for families during the next two weeks.
WESTERN COMMUNITY CENTRE – ‘FEED ALL CHILDREN SWINDON’
Centre manager Glinn Hambidge has been inundated with offers of support from volunteers and hundreds of pounds in donated cash and ingredients after he suggested making sandwiches to drop off to vulnerable families over the half term.
With the support of Central Swindon North Parish Council and some businesses in the area, he’s started the Feed All Children Swindon scheme today and it will run throughout the next two weeks, and over the winter break if needed.
He said: “I could not bear the thought of allowing children to go hungry, so I came up with this little idea with some colleagues that quickly spiralled into something much bigger.”
Read the full story HERE
Visit the Feed All Children Swindon Facebook page HERE
THE WEIGHBRIDGE STEAKHOUSE AND BAR
From Monday to Friday, the Penzance Drive restaurant is giving out free lunch packs for children which includes a sandwich, drink, piece of fruit and bag of crisps.
A spokesman said: “No child should ever go hungry. In these tough times, we want to give back to our community that has supported us so much, especially in this difficult year.
“Let’s get through these tough times together.”
Message the restaurant’s Facebook page message or email email@example.com to let staff know what days you or someone you know wants a lunch pack and how many are needed.
SWINDON WILDCATS IN THE COMMUNITY AND FRANKLIN’S
Both SWITC and Franklin’s Food are supporting Marcus Rashford MBE’s campaign to feed children who use the free school meals scheme during the half term break.
To collect a free meal visit Franklin’s in The Crossing. The scheme is based on trust so no questions will be asked. Just request a kids pack upon collection and the transaction will be as discreet as possible.
Read the full story HERE or for more information, email Steve Nell at firstname.lastname@example.org
McDonald’s UK is helping to feed struggling families over the half term.
The fast food retailer has partnered with Fare Share UK to provide one million meals.
A spokesman tweeted: “Our funding will enable the urgent redistribution of meals across the next couple of weeks to those in greatest need.”
For more information, visit FareShare.org.uk
FRANKIE AND BENNY’S
The restaurant chain is letting families collect meals from their nearest branch between 12pm and 6pm Monday to Friday.
Call the Greenbridge Retail Park branch on 01793 613136 between 11am and 12pm to let staff know how many meals are needed and when you can collect them from the takeaway pick-up point. All bookings will be treated with strict confidence. Please wear a mask while collecting the meals.
A spokesman said: “Serving families and delicious comfort food is what we do best and we want to help in offering that for evryone.
“We know these are tough times and particularly for parents who need extra help feeding their kids ovr half term.
“We want to show our support for #NoChildGoesHungry and contribute in our own small way.”
The Rodbourne Road restaurant is offering free lunches to schoolchildren from Monday to Friday between 12pm and 2pm.
The scheme is based on trust and no questions will be asked. Parents should call 07763 776880 or email Tapperzsoulfood@outlook.com
The email should include the family surname, how many children require meals and on which days, and any dietary requirements.
When collecting the meal, parents should confirm their surname and the transaction will be as discreet as possible.
A Tapperz spokesman said: “As a community, together we can do this. Thank you to everyone that has supported us. Now it’s our turn to support you.”
The burger van has teamed up with G Waste and Your Sport Swindon to offer free lunches to children who need them.
Message the Facebook page here to arrange a collection or visit the van in person at B&Q Swindon, Great Western Way from 8am Monday to Saturday.
The snack bags will include a filled roll, crisps, apple, bottle of water and a juice.
A spokesman said: “We will continue this service during all future school holidays until such time as the government reverse their decision on funding.
“Please help us spread the word to anybody who could benefit from this.”
GORSE HILL TEA ROOMS
Staff at the tea rooms on Cricklade Road are serving up more than 20 free packed lunches a day from Monday to Friday between 11am and 1pm to families who were receiving free school meals during term time.
The snack pack consists of either a filled roll or sandwich with a bag of crisps, fruit, a small cake and a drink.
A spokesman said: “Due to the goverment rejecting calls to extend the voucher scheme over half term we have made a decision to help where we can.
“Please do not be afraid to pop in and ask but these will only be available to those who really need it. Do not abuse it as there are genuine people who need a little help at this very difficult time
“This is done on trust as myself and Lib will not stand there and question you.
“If more than one meal is required, we may just ask for proof you have more than one child in the household, only to make sure we can help as many as possible.”
THE PATRIOTS ARMS/CHISELDON SMOKEHOUSE
The Chiseldon pub’s chef is preparing free packed lunches every day from Monday which will include a sandwich, drink, a piece of fruit and a bag of crisps.
Anyone in need or knows someone who might need the meal should message or call Sunny Patel on 07807 037231 or to let him know how many meals are required and what days they can be collected.
Plus, under-12s can order off the kids’ menu for free during half term lunchtimes.
Have we missed anyone? Let us know in the comments.