Time is against me to get this out with haste, forgive me that I don’t to go on one of my usual longwinded rants, I know you love them, plus, you know I’m aching to do so!
Suffice it to say we’re all horrified and angered by this government-voting-down-free-school-meals fiasco and Marcus Rashford’s righteous campaign. It’s been suggested by HuffPost, MPs have a bee in their bonnet about being called “scum” by Angela Rayner! Something about sticks and stones; let’s not dwell, but have a local honour’s list of who is here to counteract this appalling decision from the scum, sorry, I meant kindly government, and help out anyway they can.
Marcus Rashford asks one thing of us in a Tweet; sign the petition.
Nationally there’s many independent establishments rallying to offer what they can, and after the bad card the lockdown dealt them, their generosity should be awarded; a massive thank you to everyone offering their services. Least we can do is compile a list of local places, who, if you are struggling to put food on the table this bank holiday or Christmas break, can help.
If I missed you, please message us and miss you we will no longer! Bless you all.
Update: Wiltshire Council are on the case!
Press release from WC, and it’s good news…..
Free meals for vulnerable children in Wiltshire during school holidays
Wiltshire’s vulnerable children will benefit from free meals during October half-term after Wiltshire Council agreed to ensure families struggling with food poverty in the county are supported.
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, said: “We know that many families are feeling the financial pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to do all we can to support them.
“We want to ensure that children do not go hungry during these school holidays and want to ensure that Wiltshire families know that they will be supported during these difficult times by putting these measures in place. Therefore the council will be funding free meals during the October half term. This will be reviewed throughout the pandemic and we will continue to make sure that any child and family who needs help gets it. As we have done throughout, we will continue to work with our partners in the community and voluntary sector to make sure the needs of our residents are met at this unprecedented time. The work of our community groups has been, and continues to be, amazing and I must thank them for their tremendous support throughout the pandemic.
“If you are entitled to free school meals or universal credit and struggling to pay for food over half term, please contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub for support.
“Everyone in Wiltshire needs to play their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We ask that people regularly wash hands, maintain social distancing and wear face coverings where appropriate. This is the best way to keep us all safe as much as possible, and helps to prevent the spread of the virus.”
For more information on how to claim, please contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 003 4576. The team is available Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm.
The Gourmet Kitchen Brownie in Poulshot is offering free packed lunches. Please message their Facebook page for more information.
The Cavalier on Eastleigh Road are offering a free lunch pack, (sandwich, drink, piece of fruit and a bag of crisps to takeaway) available to collect from the pub for any child, during half term from 26th October. If you are in need of a packed lunch or know someone who might, please send them a message or call on 01380 725193
The Eastleigh Road Fish n Chip Shop is also offering free sausage and chips to school age children this half term, on Wednesday 28th between 4.15 -5PM.
The Raintree Indian Restaurant on New Park Street has taken the initiative too, during this half term week from Monday 26th to Friday 30th Oct.
For this special occasion, they will be open from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm for collection of a lunchpack everyday.
For every child, the lunch pack will include one chicken curry and pilau rice, one juice and a piece of fruit.
Parents or guardians, feel free to call them on 01380 725649, or send them a Facebook message, to request your free lunch pack. You can call between 5:00pm- 8:00pm everyday for the next day order. A massive thanks goes to the Raintree, who are really going the extra mile; “as a parent,” they say, “if you are going through difficulty during this hard time, please feel free to order one extra meal for yourself as well. No question will be asked.”
Please note, they won’t be able to take any order for the same day collection. Every order needs to be placed the day before during the mentioned time above.
Pearce Electrical Contractors in New Park Street, have decided as a business to support Marcus Rashford’s movement. In partnership with Biddles Cafe in the Shambles, they will be providing a warm bacon roll and hot drink to any child that usually receives a free school meal throughout half term free of charge, No questions asked. These will be available until 2pm each day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
The George & Dragon are providing free lunches and hot food over half term. Collection from the Pub for any child,
If you would like a pack lunch or a hot meal this half term for your child/children then please don’t be afraid to phone or text to book in their meal.
Available every day, collection times between 12pm-1pm
Phone 📞 01380 722139
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the Brewery Inn at Seend Cleeve will have packed lunches made up ready to collect from 12 noon, offering a free school lunch during half term to those that our eligible. Please message them in confidence to make arrangements.
The Future of Football organisation. From Monday next week Future of Football FC will be providing free takeaway packed lunches for those in the Melksham area, available for collection from Bowerhill Sports Field. Starting this Monday with 50 lunches and if the demand is there, we will up numbers for Tuesday and so on. Simply turn up at Bowerhill Sports Field and collect between 11.00am and 12.30pm. There is a GoFundMe page here to donate.
In Marlborough, a Facebook group has been set up, Love Marlborough Kids Meals. A community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for kids who need them. Please like the page for more information. There are details of places taking part, including Sue Brady Catering operating in conjunction with the Town Hall. Meals are being distributed at St Marys Church hall on Silverless St.
If you’re in Pewsey and need support of any kind, from food to help with shopping and library services, there’s a community website which can help.
The PCCA says, “we have stepped up to fill a gap that government should provide and will be offering school meals through the school holidays. If you would like to offer time or donations please sign up at pcca.org.uk or phone 01672487022.
If you are a family who needs help you can call us confidentially or email email@example.com
Pewsey Spar shop say, “We will be providing a lunch for any child in need from Monday October 26 to Friday 30. Just pop instore with your child/children and we will give them a lunch. There is no shame in asking for help and accepting a helping hand. We, as always, are there for you.”
The Little Lunch Box in Pewsey High Street is also offering help. “With many children not receiving free school meals during the holidays we would love to help. If you are affected and finding it difficult during this time, please feel free to get in contact totally confidential, no judgement. We’re all in this together, no child should go hungry and irrespective of the Free School Meals for half term decision – if you run out of food or necessities, or times are just tough, please don’t let you or your kids go to sleep on an empty stomach.
Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to send us a private message. We will do anything we can to help. It may simply be a case of dropping off a food parcel and leaving. No one has to know and where others are concerned, it never happened.” Phone: 01672 564901
The Woodbridge Inn are also providing lunches, see the poster.
Contact the Ship if you require a free packed lunch for kids in Upavon.
There’s a Facebook group called Calne Town Dinners. Any volunteers who has cooked too much food and can supply you with a meal are encouraged to donate to the needy, for any reason.
If you normally get a free meal at school, please visit to the cafe at Pound Arts with your adult, and they’ll give you a healthy meal for free. No need to buy anything. No questions asked.
Tasty Bites Sandwich shop on the High Street says, “if your child is normally entitled to a free school meal then bring them in,” and they’ll give you a free lunch bag for your child during half term.
Popeyes in Estcourt Road are offering free kids meals to those who need it. These are available:- For collection only- Between 4-6pm- Any kids meal option on the menu- Until Sunday 1st November 2020. You will also be able to choose:- Pot of beans OR- Side salad- Either Orange OR Apple & Blackcurrant fruit shoot (instead of a can of fizzy drink – if you wish). If ordering by phone, please just quote free kids meal. If ordering in person, please just show this message (taken from their Facebook page) when placing your order. Not available online.
The Patriots Arms is offering a free lunch pack available to collect from the pub for any child. The lunch pack is made up of a sandwich, drink, piece of fruit and a bag of crisps. Please message or call Sunny on 07807 037231 or Sanjay on 07587 694373
Mazza’s Munchies has teamed up with G Waste and Your Sport Swindon to offer free lunch packs for any children who are in need of food. Please message them if you can to arrange collection or simply turn up at our snack van at B&Q Swindon, Great Western Way.
Not just businesses helping out…
Another interesting angle to this I’ve just been informed about, is that out in the villages some people have been posting on their village Facebook pages, inviting any needy over to their home for lunch. For me, this proves undoubtedly, they are not doing this to promote a business, only to help in a time and issue the government are callously snubbing.
Anna Villette in Potterne contacted us to say she had done just this, posted on Potterne’s village Facebook group for people in need to message her, where they could be invited over for tea as their guest, with her own children. How utterly selfless and decent is that? Well done and thank you, Anna. If you’re in Potterne and do wish to contact Anna, please message the page and I will pass on her phone number. She is even willing to put portions in a plastic tub to takeaway if preferred. “I knew I was hoarding those tubs for a reason,” she told me!
If anyone in any other villages or in towns are thinking of doing similar, and wish us spread word, do let me know! KJ Jeffreys in Devizes is also willing to help.
Caroline Jackson (click name to email) is planning to cook Spaghetti Penne Pasta on Monday for families in need in Trowbridge. Please could parents let Caroline know how many meals they would like & their address. She plans to deliver on Monday afternoon between 3-5pm.
That’s all I’ve found so far, going to get this article up and running as time is short, but please, if you’ve a service to offer you’d like to me to list, contact Devizine and let’s get as comprehensible list as possible. Half term is upon us, but this could extend to Christmas holidays too.
Here, Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes, admits he doesn’t read your emails, “These citizens send abusive emails which, they may like to know, I never read: my team just delete them without bothering to show me.” You have to admire his honesty if nothing else.