Northumberland cafes offer free food to children in need this half-term

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Cafes across Northumberland are stepping up to the plate to ensure kids don’t go hungry this half-term.

Free meals are being offered by some in response to politicians voting against widening the free school meals scheme earlier this week.

The Vale Cafe in Rothbury is offering a free hot/cold meal, each day, to any child in receipt of free school meals in the surrounding area.

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Owner Steph Bruce said: “Everyone is struggling at the minute and there are going to be kids going without food so we just wanted to help out.”

The Vale Cafe, Bertram's and Northern Soul Kitchen.The Vale Cafe, Bertram's and Northern Soul Kitchen.
The Vale Cafe, Bertram's and Northern Soul Kitchen.

Bertram’s in Warkworth is also getting involved, offering a free packed lunch to any child who needs it.

It posted on Facebook: ‘The government have unfortunately voted against providing free school meals for children who desperately need them during school holidays.

‘Whilst we don’t usually get involved with politics as a business, if we can help local families in need we will.’

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Northern Soul Kitchen, a food waste initiative in Berwick, is facilitating a pay as you feel breakfast club at The Radio Rooms in Tweedmouth from Monday to Friday next week for anybody to have access.

The Vale Cafe in Rothbury.The Vale Cafe in Rothbury.
The Vale Cafe in Rothbury.

Co-owner Millie Stanford said: “Our system is so broken that whilst people are hungry, good food heads to landfill. Please help us bridge that gap. No matter your situation Northern Soul Kitchen is here for you.

“We are figuring out how to make the most food available to the most amount of people, motivated by the half-term next week especially.”

Pubs are also helping out.

The Sun Inn in Morpeth is offering free takeaway hot children’s lunches for those in need from Monday to Thursday, 12pm-5pm, next week.

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Harrier Grecian and Millie Stanford of Northern Soul Kitchen.Harrier Grecian and Millie Stanford of Northern Soul Kitchen.
Harrier Grecian and Millie Stanford of Northern Soul Kitchen.

The Tankerville Arms in Wooler is doing daily lunches and the Brewers Arms in Berwick is doing free kids meals when accompanied by an adult.

On Wednesday, a Labour motion to offer free school meals during holidays until Easter 2021 was rejected by 322 votes to 261. Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan was among those to vote against it.

Footballer Marcus Rashford, who is leading a campaign on child food poverty has appealed to MPs to put aside their differences and ‘unite to protect our most vulnerable children’.

Ministers say an extra £9bn has been put into welfare and the school meal policy will be kept under review.

Bertram's in Warkworth.Bertram's in Warkworth.
Bertram's in Warkworth.
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Call for free school meals to be served to Northumberland children over half-ter...

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