Earlier this week, a Labour motion calling for the free meals scheme to be extended over school holidays until Easter 2021 was defeated by 261 votes to 322 in the Commons – with five Conservative MPs rebelling to vote with the Opposition.
Now Colmans Seafood Temple is offering free meals between 3pm and 5pm for children between Monday and Friday of the Autumn half-term holidays.
The meals – which include fish and chips, sausage and chips, and chips and sauce – will be available for takeaway without an adult purchase.
Posting the news on social media, a Colmans statement said: “After the Government announced no support for free school childrens meals over half term, we made a family and team decision that we’d like to support families in our community that need help.
“Next week during half term, Monday to Friday from 3pm-5pm, we will be offering free children’s meals in our Seafood Temple takeaway of either fish and chips, sausage and chips or chips with sauce.
“No adult purchase is necessary but the child must be present and it’s limited to one meal per child per day.
“We hope this will help during these unprecedented times and we ask you all to maintain social distancing and observe good Covid safe practices if you take up our offer.
“Thanks for all your support and feel free to share to get it out to the wider community.”
South Shields comedian Chris Ramsey has shared Colmans’ offer on Twitter. He added: “Amazing work guys!”
England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford vowed to keep campaigning to extend free school meals over the holidays after MPs voted against the measure on Wednesday.
He said in a statement shared on Twitter: “We must stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers. Our views are being clouded by political affiliation.
“This is not politics, this is humanity.”