THREE more businesses across Salisbury have announced they will be offering food and drink to children, following the government’s refusal to extend free school meals during the half term break.
Inspired by the work of footballer Marcus Rashford however, business owners in the city centre have decided to take it upon themselves to feed children, who otherwise might go hungry next week, for free.
Pub The George and Dragon had already announced its free meal service, and Tinga in Salt Lane is one of the latest restaurants to get involved – offering free lunch bags “without judgment” from tomorrow until Friday between 12pm and 1pm.
Following this decision Dave Hancock of Tinga said: “We have been overwhelmed with the amount of support the local community has given to our small business during these tough times and we feel passionately about trying to give back where we can.
“The decision the Government has made is baffling when families are obviously struggling. Children should not be going hungry during half term and we would like to provide lunches with no judgement or questions.”
Cocktail bar and nightclub Inc and Kludo is also getting involved with the scheme by teaming up with There4U in Amesbury, which announced its free packed lunch service on Friday.
For every hot drink it sells, the venue in Milford Street will be donating £1 to the homecare agency to support its provision of food, as well as offering free hot chocolate drinks to children during the week.
Inc and Kludo staff will also be volunteering to help There4U pack the lunches.
“We felt it was hugely important to get involved where we could – we gave it some thought on how we could have the biggest impact on the situation,” explained owner Tom Mundy.
He added: “We felt by donating £1 for every hot drink sold, we could not only donate from the business but it would also give our customers the ownership of also doing their bit by means of purchasing. We will also have a voluntary donation box for customers to further donate money.
“Even though the business has found it extremely tough to survive, there’s no reason why we can’t sacrifice to ensure children don’t go without food.
“I’m a qualified teacher and taught for two years and also have a young daughter, so this is naturally something very close to my heart.”
Popeyes in Estcourt Road is another eatery that has announced a free food service, and will be offering children meals for collection between 4pm and 6pm until November 1.
When asked why Popeyes decided to take part in the scheme, owner Reza Azizi said: “The reason we wanted to try and help out is we, along with many others, were truly disappointed by the Government’s vote against helping the most under privileged children in our society.
“We have young children and it is heartbreaking to think of any child going hungry or any parent carrying the worry of how they will feed them. We can only help in a very small way but we genuinely hope that anyone who needs it will reach out.”
- If your business is offering a free service for children during half term, let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org