Brighton and Hove rallies round to feed kids on the breadline

Posted On 23 Oct 2020 at 2:37 pm

The Camden Pie Company is one Brighton and Hove food businesses helping out struggling families this half term


Hundreds of people have rallied round to help struggling families this half term after Conservative MPs voted not to extend the free school meal voucher scheme over next week’s holiday.

The campaign to extend the scheme was led by footballer Marcus Rashford, who was this month made an MBE for his campaigning against child poverty, most notably persuading the Government to extend free school meal vouchers over the summer holiday.

Last night, Rashford started tweeting out details of anyone offering to feed children next week off their own back – which has prompted hundreds of organisations and venues to do the same, including several in Brighton and Hove (details below).

More than a hundred people have already signed a petition set up this morning calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to step in and pick up the bill.

A fundraiser has also been launched by a Brighton food charity to cover the cost of hot meals, food boxes and vouchers for families finding it difficult to put food on the table. Within hours of going live this morning, it had raised £2,500.

After Southwark Council in London said it was going to cover the cost of the vouchers this morning, former Labour councillor Caroline Penn set up a petition calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to do the same thing.

She said: “In Brighton, nearly a third of the city’s children live in poverty. Due to the pandemic, more families in the city than ever before are struggling with financial pressures.

“It is hugely disappointing that the Tory government voted against measures that would have provided free school meals for children during the holidays – for half term, Christmas and Easter.

“It goes without saying that no child should go hungry during the school holidays.

“We are therefore calling for the council, like other councils across the country, and step in to cover the costs of vouchers instead.”

Fellow former Labour councillor Emma Daniel, who also has a petition to reduce the cost of uniforms in schools, said: “More and more city children are being plunged into poverty due to their parents’ redundancies and high living costs.

“I hope that the next council meeting is focused on child poverty and building an action plan as a result of our petitions and the will of city residents to wrap their arms around every child.”

Local organisations and venues pledging to help out so far include:

Brighton and Hove Food Partnership has a wide range of information about local food banks and hubs that are running in local neighbourhoods across the city. You can contact it on 01273 234810 or info@bhfood.org.uk

The council’s community hub can help organise emergency food for families. Contact it via the website, or by calling 01273 293117 and select option 2

The Camden Pie Company van which will be giving free sausage rolls to kids from its pitch at the Freshfield Estate

The Set is offering to help struggling families who should get in touch by emailing dan@thesetrestaurant.com

The Athena B chippy in Station Road, Portslade, is offering up to three free kids meals from Monday to Thursday next week

Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen is making soups which will be available to pick up from the Brighthelm Centre on Monday from 5pm-7pm. Call 07576545434 to order.

If you know of a venue which is offering to help families in need this half term, leave a comment below.

  1. Lynsey Moore Reply

    The Set Restaurant

  2. Vivienne Griffiths Reply

    The Fiveways Deli are offering home-cooked dinners for children ready for collection Mon-Sat throughout the half term. They will be offering meat and veggie options.

  3. Stephen Reply

    We were warned by what was coming decades ago when Thatcher, (then a junior minister in Heath’s government), took away children’s free milk.
    We were warned then, that the Tories would sink to any level!
    We didn’t listen or learn then, and after the last debacle of an election proved, we still won’t learn!
    The British public don’t care, until it happens to them!
    And by that time, it will be far too late for many!
    So many deaths already from suicide alone, let alone the inaction over Coronavirus!
    I’m ashamed and disgusted to live in such an ignorant country as is this one!
    But I’m too old and too poor to emigrate!

  4. ThomThumb Reply

    not sure I agree with the petition to get the local council to cover the cost, they have no money in their budgets as it is, and really it’s down to government, you know, those idiots who have decent salaries(and 2nd jobs) who still have their meals subsidised by the public!
    hopefully people now start to realise this is all we can expect while the Tories are running the country and get out and vote to change things! I don’t hold much hope though which quite frankly is very depressing…..

  5. R Reply

    The following venues in Brighton and Worthing are offering free meals this half term;

    Social Board
    V&H Cafe
    The Set
    Riddle and Finns
    Big Slice Pizza
    Hixon Green
    Pitch (restaurant in Worthing)
    Crabshack (restaurant in Worthing)

  6. R Reply

    Also Good Companions pub on Dyke Road.

  7. Sarah Davies Reply

    Hi, I run The Cleveland Arms, by Blakers Park in Brighton. We are offering free meals to any child that normally has free school meals. This is offered to eat in or take away. Anytime this week Monday to Friday. Please add us to your list. People can email info@clevelandarmsbrighton.co.uk to order. Thank you

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