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Spalding, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Quadring businesses rally to help children who are eligible for free school meals

A number of businesses in South Holland and afootball club are standing up to do their bit for the children in our community this week.

Inspired by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford, who has been campaigning for children who rely on free school meals to be provided with food during half term, businesses are offering free meals to youngsters who are eligible for free school meals all week throughout the area.

Carlos Cifaldi, of Joe’s Takeaway and Chip Shop on Westlode Street, Spalding, says he decided he had to do something after watching the news.

Joe's Takeaway and Chip Shop on Westlode Street (42844799)
Joe's Takeaway and Chip Shop on Westlode Street (42844799)

He said: “We were watching the news about MPs not voting in favour of providing the food during half term and I thought it’s just not right.

“That’s when we decided to give out free meals for kids during the half term week.

“We didn’t think other businesses would get involved so we said ‘let’s do it’ and we just hoped others would join in. It’s great to see others following suit now as well.”

Carlo says that the generosity on show from customers and suppliers has also been incredible.

He said: “We’ve already had people offer to give us donations to help us to provide the food and we are talking to our potato man at the moment as he’s going to give us some free potatoes too. It’s amazing!

“It’s not about the money for us, it’s about helping others.”

Carlo says that he knows some of his customers will struggle this half term, which is why he felt it was so important to get involved.

He said: “Anyone is welcome to come and get some food if they are entitled to the free school meals.

“I know we have a lot of customers who will struggle without the free school meals, so it’s very important for us to help.”

Ahmed Rashid, of A’s Munch Box on Red Lion Street in Spalding says that he will do anything he can do to help families who are struggling.

Ahmed, who moved into the shop in the summer, said: “No child should go hungry and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

“There is nothing to be embarrassed about - people can send us a message on Facebook if they are worried and we will have the food ready for them to collect or we can deliver it to them too.

“I’ve got kids myself, and at my other business in Peterborough we have been giving 200 meals a week to the homeless and needy, so I know how much it means. Any kids who are entitled to a free school meal can come and have a healthy meal from us.”

- Pinchbeck United Football Club will be providing both a breakfast, from 11am to noon and hot meals from 2pm to 3pm, Monday to Friday for any school aged children at the Pinchbeck Sports Bar and Lounge.

- Oh My Cod in Spalding will be offering free kid’s boxes from Tuesday to Friday.

- The Unicorn Diner in Long Sutton will be offering free hot meals all week and free pumpkin carving classes on Friday and Saturday.

- SNAX of Long Sutton will be providing free lunch bags all week between noon to 1pm.

- Chameli Tandoori Indian Restaurant in Holbeach is offering free meals for collection.

- A Country Kitchen will have a selection of packed lunches and hot meals available to collect from their kitchens in Quadring.

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