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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Local Businesses Rally Behind Marcus Rashford’s Campaign

Council joins local restaurants and businesses in providing free meals and support for families reliant on free school meals during half term…

A host of local businesses from across the Bournemouth area have thrown their support behind footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty by offering free meals to children in need over the half-term break.

BBQ Chicken franchise Chicken & Blues pledged to give away up to 1,000 kids’ meals to families in need across Bournemouth and Poole during the October half-term. Meanwhile, JJ’s Café and Bar is offering all school children a free meal, saying, “This half-term, we don’t want kids to go to sleep hungry.”

Several expressed outrage at the recent vote in Parliament in which MPs voted not to extend free school meals over the half-term period. Ricky’s Fish and Chips in Southbourne described themselves as “shocked” by the news in a post offering free kids’ meals to families on universal credit. And Christchurch-based fish and chips restaurant Captain Cod wrote, “We have no words to understand why 322 MPs have rejected the motion to provide meals to the families that need it the most this half-term.”

The surge of support comes as businesses and local authorities across the country rally behind Rashford’s attempts to fight child food poverty. The 22-year-old Manchester United striker was awarded an MBE for campaigning for free school meals to be extended over the summer holidays, but has called for more action to be taken on the issue.

After the motion to further extend free school meals over half-term and the Christmas holidays was defeated in Parliament, restaurants and businesses across the country began offering to provide meals for school children on the scheme. In addition, a number of councils committed to providing free school meals over the half-term break. Including our own, Conservative-led, BCP Council, which pledged to deliver food parcels to struggling families across the conurbation during half-term, Tweeting that, “No child should go hungry.”

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Tom Carter
Tom Carter
Tom is an Oxford university graduate and budding journalist from Southampton. He studied history as an undergraduate at Wadham College. Music and culture, politics, local news and history are his among his favourite subjects to write about. And when not writing, he spends time playing guitar, reading, and walking his two dogs.

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