Some of our local cafes and food outlets in Lowton, Golborne and nearby have been quick to offer to feed any disadvantaged children at risk of going hungry over the coming half term holiday.
The generous offers were made by businesses including Lowton’s The Lounge, on Bradwell Road, Heath Street Fish & Chips in Golborne and Church Street Chippy in Golborne, who all took to social media to express their view that “no child should go hungry”.
It follows a vote in the houses of Parliament this week in which MPs decided they would not extend the free school meal offer to struggling families over the half term holiday.
Since then, there has been an outcry with celebrities and politicians backing footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child hunger in England.
And the generous offers from our local businesses come at a time when they themselves are grappling with the impact that Tier 3 covid restrictions might have on them.
Wigan Council is offering help, too
Our local council, Wigan, have also stepped up and offered to fund food vouchers for families who would normally qualify for free school meals – despite central Government’s decision not too.
Council leader Councillor David Molyneux simply called it “the right thing to do” and said they would be stepping in to support families during this challenging time.
He said: “Thousands of young children and families across our borough rely on free school meals and this means they will not go hungry over the school holidays.
“We acknowledge that families are facing unprecedented challenges at the moment and this decision will ease some of the burden.”
The vouchers for £15 per child per week are available for children aged four and up who attend schools in Wigan borough – about 10,500 in all. Those families are being contacted directly with informaton on how to claim their vouchers.
Which businesses are taking part?
Writing on Facebook, The Lounge offered free lunch bags for primary school children on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October. Please call ahead to request a bag – 01942 262559.
Meanwhile, Heath St Fish & Chips are offering free chips and sausage meals for children in need, between 11.30am-12.30pm from Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October. And local taxi firm Davron are donating fruit to be given with every child’s meal.
Church Street Chippy in Golborne are also offering children, accompanied by an adult, a dinner pack with chips, juice and a cupcake between 11.30am – 12.30pm from Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October. Local companies JMCF Loft Ladders & Boarding and LPM Landscapes have kindly donated the cupcakes and cartons of juice or water.
The Millstone Pub in Golborne is offering a packed lunch for children who need one, plus a cuppa for their parents. They thanked a number of volunteers for helping out, and said the offer would be available from 11.30am-1pm Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October.
This is not an exhaustive list and we know there may be others joining in.
Do you know of any other businesses offering free food for kids?
Let us know in the comments and we’ll add the details above.