Businesses across Lincolnshire have responded to the ongoing debate on school meals by offering free meals themselves during half term.
A national campaign fronted by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford to extend free school meal vouchers for children was rejected by government.
Eight of Greater Lincolnshire’s nine MPs voted against the motion to extend free school meals until Easter next year.
There are almost 22,000 children in Lincolnshire who are entitled to the free school meals initiative, and this cannot be accessed during the school holidays.
Local businesses have now reacted by offering free meals during the October half term for children in families that may be struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lincolnshire companies are pledging different discounts and offers for parents to bring their children and get a free meal for their kids.
To see the full map of businesses across the country offering this, click here.
The full regional list, with terms and conditions, is:
- A’s Munch Box (Spalding) – free jam or chocolate spread sandwich, with drink and snack, to any child during half term
- Alma Park Fish Bar (Grantham) – free kids box to any primary school child between Tuesday and Saturday
- Birchwood Fish Bar (Lincoln) – free meals between 11.30am and 1.45pm Tuesday-Friday for under 16s
- Browns Pie Shop (Lincoln) – free food for any child 12 or under accompanied by an adult
- Cafe Baraka (Cleethorpes) – free lunches throughout the week, contact owners via Facebook or by calling 07456 626581
- Carholme Chippy (Lincoln) – free meals between 11.30am and 1.45pm Monday-Friday of half term
- Coffee Aroma (Lincoln) – free packed lunch for children who qualify for free school meals
- Community Shop (Grimsby) – kids eat free all half term
- Don’t Lose Hope Cafe and Gift Shop (Bourne) – free lunch bag to children who qualify for free school meals
- Elite on the Bail (Lincoln) – free meal selection for under 16s, up to three children per one paying adult, available 11.30am to 6pm
- Finkin’s Deli (Grantham) – all children eat free during half term
- Fish King (Lincoln) – free meal choice for children between 11.30am-2pm from Monday-Friday during half term
- Galaxy Fish Bar (Grantham) – free sausage and chips between 12pm and 2pm on Friday, October 30
- Market Hill Fisheries (Winterton) – free children meals from Wednesday to Saturday by asking for a “school meal”
- Mint Lane Cafe (Lincoln) – free meals for kids between 12-2pm Wednesday to Saturday, two kids per paying adult with one soft drink each
- On a Roll (Lincoln) – free ham, cheese or egg sandwiches for kids during half term who are entitled to free school meals
- Sugarmill (Bourne) – Five lunch meals for the week to be collected from 11am all week
- Take 5 Tea Room (Lincoln) – free child breakfast when with an adult buying a full English breakfast between 8.30am and 12.30pm, Monday-Friday of half term
- Taylors Fruit & Veg (Cleethorpes)
- The Arboretum Cafe (Lincoln) – two free kids meals per adult who buys main meal during half term
Also, councillors in Mablethorpe have organised a free hot meals event in response to the national campaign.
It will take place between 4-5pm on Friday, October 20 and any local families that need food are invited to take part. All that’s required is proof of address.
Councillor Claire Newman said lots of businesses in the area were now “stepping up”.
“They’re doing what’s right for their local community and we’re chuffed to be a part of that,” she said.
She said the councillors were “in shock and disgust” over the vote last week and urged them to reconsider their position.
“We’re really pleased Marcus Rashford has come on board with this and it’s fantastic to see it being promoted.
“Mablethorpe is a coastal area and has been massively affected by COVID. This is just another nail in the coffin from the government.”