Free school meals: Everywhere in Wisbech offering support during half term

Independent businesses and individuals are working together to provide free school meals to children in need over the half term school holidays.

It comes after a decision in Parliament in which ministers decided not to fund free school meals for vulnerable children in England.

The Government had previously extended free school meals for eligible children during the Easter holidays earlier this year.

Places in Wisbech offering free meals are:

• PYO Fruit and Veg Bags & Eggs

• Wisbech Morrison’s

• Park Street Pantry

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• Evie’s Sandwich Bar

• Samuels Farm Shop & Butchers

• Wisbech St Mary FC

A spokesperson for PYO Fruit and Veg Bags & Eggs said: “Sadly we were unable to organise anything with Cambs council in time to help on mass this half term.

“The lateness of the decision didn’t help, so we have taken the decision to help where we can.”

They will be providing families in need with fruit, veg, bread, milk, eggs and pasta and are urging people who can to help with donations.

Morrison’s in Wisbech are making 30 free lunch box meals a day for all of this week to help support families in need.

A spokesperson said: “These meals are intended to support any families who normally receive free school meals, these are available to collect from our deli counter each day from 9am.”

A Park Street Pantry spokesperson said: “This is not about politics, this is about doing what we think is right.”

They will be providing free takeaway lunches for eligible children, asking those who need one to get in touch via Facebook before coming for collection.

They added: “Please be assured, there is no judgement and all collections will be as discreet as possible.”

Wisbech St Mary Football Club is collaborating with Wisbech St Mary CofE Academy, launching school holiday activities and food for everyone.

A spokesperson for the club said: “We realise that when the school term ends so do the free school meals, but nothing else changes.

“Some family incomes remain low but their children still need feeding, so we are launching this initiative through the holidays.”

The original campaign was launched in February and ran across the Easter and summer holidays, now they are asking for more to help with donations.

A campaign by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford ensured the free school meals were extended over the summer holidays.

A petition created by the striker calling for provision to continue in the half term holidays has gained nearly 900,000 signatures.

Did we miss you off our list? Are you offering support during half term? Get in touch by emailing: harry.rutter@archant.co.uk

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