Eateries and clubs in North Devon are lending their support during half-term with free children’s meals for those in need.
Belluno in Bideford, Swiss Cottage Cafe in Ilfracombe, Torrington Rugby Club and Bull and Bear in Barnstaple are among those offering help in the community during the school holidays.
Their generosity has even been recognised by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford MBE, who is calling for an end to child food poverty, urging the Government to expand access to free school meals and provide meals during the holidays to stop holiday hunger.
Italian restaurant Belluno said it would be offering a complimentary lunchtime takeaway service for children who would otherwise not be able to afford a meal.
In a post on Facebook which has been shared more than 1,600 times, the restaurant said it would provide bolognaise or tomato pasta and a chocolate mousse for children in need.
The post said: “With half term next week we know there will be many kids who normally rely on a hot school meal going hungry.
“We are expecting to be very busy and there may be occasions where we run out. If that is the case, you will be top of the list for the following day, or we may be able to offer an alternative.
“We will be cooking for free on an honesty basis, so please, this is solely for children who would otherwise not be able to afford a meal.
“We know it’s not much but we just wanted to do our little bit for the community.”
Both said the meals were available with complete discretion.
Bull and Bear meanwhile is offering a free grilled cheese sandwich and mug of tomato soup for any children who would usually receive a free school meal.
The efforts of Belluno and Swiss Cottage Cafe have been recognised by Rashford, who shared their social media posts to his 3.5million Twitter followers.
Rashford said: “Blown away by news of local businesses stepping up to fill the voucher scheme deficit during the October half term. Selflessness, kindness, togetherness, this is the England I know.”
Throughout Friday (October 23), many other establishments in North Devon have committed to providing for children who would usually receive free school meals.
The Fox Inn, Fremington
The Wayfarer Inn, Instow
The Old Barn, Bickington
The Thatched Inn, Abbotsham
Rolle Quay Inn, Barnstaple
South Street Foodbank, Braunton
Beach Buddies Childcare, Braunton
Fox and Goose, Parracombe
Tea by the Taw, Barnstaple
Quay Cafe, Braunton
Puffing Billy Trading Co, Torrington
El Toro Loco, Bideford
Charlie Friday’s Coffee Shop, Lynton
Binge Box, Braunton/Barnstaple