More than 10,000 meals were delivered to hungry children by businesses and community groups on the first day of half-term after the government refused to extend free school meals into the holidays.
Hundreds of organisations stepped up to provide free food to those who need it after the Tories refused to support a motion extending the voucher scheme that had kept more than a million children fed through lockdown and the school holidays.
Spearheaded by footballer Marcus Rashford, who has spent months campaigning to end child hunger, the campaign quickly went viral – leading to thousands of people being fed on the first day of the half-term break alone.
More than 400 people have so far responded to a call-out on Rashford’s Twitter page, in which the Manchester United star called for “incredible local businesses” to let him know how many free meals for children had been supplied.
🗣 Calling all incredible local businesses...
Out of curiosity, how many complimentary Childrens meals have each of you supplied today? Day 1 of Half Term.
Can you let me know number and where you are located.
Thank you x
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 26, 2020
A count of the replies by HuffPost UK reveals that more than 10,000 food packages were supplied on Monday alone. Some of these account for a single hot meal or packed lunch, while others include enough food for a week – meaning the true number of meals supplied free is likely to be much higher.
This figure is also rising continuously as more businesses and community groups reply to Rashford’s post, with organisers reporting thousands more meals requests for the week ahead.
The Bubble Inn, Derby, delivered 77 hot meals today pic.twitter.com/UDtDHdD8wQ
— Darshna Soni (@darshnasoni) October 26, 2020