Jin’s Fish and Chips, Namaste & Kings Prosecco Lounge and Mary's Fish shop at Simonside are among several businesses across the region offering free meals for children during half term.
The news comes after the government rejected calls to extend free school meals over half term and the winter break.
In a post on Facebook, Jin’s Fish and Chips said: “In response to the government's refusal to provide free school meals during half term, we do not want to see any child go hungry, therefore we will be offering free kids lunches between 12pm - 2pm from Monday 26th October to Friday 30th October.
"Please don't feel embarrassed to take these meals, we are all in this together and we all want to do our bit.”
Other restaurants and takeaways are also pulling together to support children in South Shields and Gateshead.
Razz Ahmed, owner of Namaste & Kings Prosecco Lounge in South Shields and Club Prosecco & Namaste Luxury Indian Restaurants in Gateshead said: “It’s been a really hard year for everyone and after the government announcement, we wanted to help support our customers and the children within our community.
"The hospitality sector have struggled this year but we want to do our bit to help.
"If you run out of food, 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 me a private message or contact the restaurant, we are happy to offer a free meal in the restaurant or send a takeaway.”
Following pressures from Manchester United footballer, Marcus Rashford the government agreed to extend free school meals throughout the summer holidays after the financial struggles of the pandemic but declined a bid for a further extension.
Aman Gill, owner of Mary’s Fish shop in Simonside said: “We are also doing free meals for kids during half term Monday to Friday 11.30 till 1.30pm.
"Anyone is welcome to come for food for kids, we know some people have been struggling throughout this pandemic so we just want to give back to the community.”