News Article

Businesses offer support after MPs defeat school meals scheme

22 October 2020

A family-run chip shop and a pub are among the businesses stepping in to fill the void after MPs voted against football star Marcus Rashford’s bid to extend free school meals over the half-term holidays.

Park Fish Bar and Old Hall Farm, both in Ellesmere Port, have announced that they will be offering lunches to youngsters eligible for free school meals.

Businesses across the UK have taken to social media vowing to provide help since Labour’s motion, which called for the free schools meal scheme to be extended over the holidays until Easter 2021, was defeated on Wednesday by 261 votes to 322 – majority 61.

Manchester United and England star Rashford posted on Twitter today to say he has been "blown away" by the support shown from businesses and has been promoting them through a series of retweets.

He has asked businesses to use the hashtag #EndChildFoodPoverty so he can continue to promote as many of the free meal offers as possible.

Park Fish Bar, based on Underwood Drive, Ellesmere Port, posted on Facebook: "As a former teacher myself I am extremely upset with the decision regarding free school meals. I have seen first hand the need for this and how a hot meal can impact on a child’s development.

"At Park Fish Bar we will be proving a free meal for all children eligible for free school meals all through half term. Please come down between 11am-2pm every day and let us support our community."

Old Hall Farm, based near Cheshire Oaks, posted on its Facebook account: "With the half term beginning we know some families will be struggling, especially in these uncertain times.

"We will be making up FREE kids packed lunches to take out from Monday-Friday between 11am-12pm.

"These will be made fresh every morning so limited availability.

"If you message us and let us know your coming we can have more made up. These will consist of a sandwich, packet of crisps, juice and a yoghurt or piece of fruit.

"Please only pick one up if you really do need it so that we can try and make a real difference in our community. No need to explain anything to us, just pop in and ask for a kids lunch and we will just hand it over."