Here is a list of businesses providing free meals to Hemel Hempstead school children during half-term
MPs rejected Labour's motion to provide free school meals over the holidays until Easter 2021 on Wednesday (October 21)
After the government voted down a motion to extend free school meals during the half term holiday, a number of businesses across the country have offered to plug the gap by offering free food to kids.
Marcus Rashford led the initial campaign to have free school meals extended for children over the summer holidays.
In Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted, a number of businesses are offering a free meal to school children during half term.
- The Plough, in Hemel Hempstead, is offering 'Kids Eat Free' until Friday, November 6. The promotion is valid on bookings only, and cannot be used in conjunction with any offer. The offer is available Monday to Friday.
- Viv's Bakes, in Whelpley Hill, is offering a hot meal to children during the school holidays. If you are interested contact Emma Carder or Viv's Bakes on 01442 834254 by 6pm the evening before.
- Khana Cookery, in Hemel Hempstead, are offering a free packed lunch to families in need. The lunch will include a sandwich (veggie or meat option) fruit, and a treat. Message Khana Cookery - www.facebook.com/khanacookery - to order a lunch.
- Kings Ace Cars, in Berkhamsted, are offering their support to any businesses and charities providing free meals to children this half term. They will pick up and drop off food parcels in the area, free of charge this half term. Contact them on 01442 872 872 / 24 1000.
- The Old Mill, in Berkhamsted, is offering free lunch for the children, plus mum and dad this week. From Tuesday to Friday, between 12pm and 2pm, if your children qualify for free school dinners they want the family to be able to all have a free lunch together. They are offering chilli con carne or veggie/vegan curry (no spice) with a soft drink each. No need to book just bring your details regarding free school dinners to the restaurant and ask for a table for the "Family Lunch Special".
- Boxmoor Steakhouse, St John's Road, Hemel Hempstead, is offering free takeaway lunch boxes on Wednesday and Thursday this week to children normally eligible for free school lunches. Collection will be between 12pm and 4pm. To request a free Lunch Box please send a private message or email to the restaurant prior to 9am on the day of collection. To see the meal choices and to order visit: www.facebook.com/boxmoorsteakhouse.
- Warriors Amateur Boxing Club will be leaving a table of basic necessities outside the club, at The Heights, Hemel Hempstead, from 9.45am to 11.45am for the duration of the holidays and encourage those that are in need to help themselves. In a post on Facebook it says: "Please take what you need but no more as there may be others that also require support. We are accepting donations from members at the club, neighbours and local businesses and if anybody would like to make a donation please feel free to swing by the club in the morning to add to the collection."
- Dharm and Team, from One Stop Highfield and Adeyfield Post Office, are offering children lunches during half term from Monday, October 26, until Friday, October 30. Available to collect from One Stop in Highfield, will consist of a sandwich (cheese or ham) packet of crisps, snack and a drink. Children must be accompanied by an adult. If you are interested, send a direct message to Dharm (www.facebook.com/dharm.y.patel) to confirm the night before by 6.30pm, of what option and what time you would like to collect, ideally between 11am-1pm.
- The Cake Shack, Chapel Croft in Chipperfield, is offering free school meals to children in the area - hot or cold food available. For more information contact Melissa Persson on [email protected] The Cake Shack has also set up a fundraising page for anyone who would like to make a donation to help the coffee shop buy food and make hot meals for vulnerable children in the local community while school meals are not available. To make a donation visit: www.gofundme.com/f/6p2zh5-feed-our-children.
- Trattoria La Vigna, Maylands Avenue in Hemel Hempstead, is offering a meal to anyone struggling. In a post on Facebook, it said: "Well done Marcus Rashford for once again calling the nation to action to help feed children who will not have the benefit of a free school meal in half term. Thanks also to Emma Carder who is working on this locally in Hemel Hempstead. This is not a problem though just during the holidays. To anyone struggling pm us or give us a ring not just next week, anytime and we’ll make up a meal for you. All are welcome at la Vigna and we are happy to support families in Hemel Hempstead and generally #loveourcommunity."
- The Bell Inn,in Bovingdon,is offering a hot meal to children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunchtime during half term. Contact Emma Carder by 6.30pm on the previous day to place the order, she will arrange the collection point with you.
- Howe and Co Van 19 Only, serving Bovingdon, will be giving a meal of chicken nuggets/sausage and chips to school aged children during the October half term. A vegetarian option is also available but it must be pre-ordered.
On their Facebook page they said: "Times like this we need to help each and stick together and this is something we feel very strongly about. There will need to be a minimum transaction of £5 and children will need to be accompanied by an adult."
- Dalling & Co, High Street, in Kings Langley, is offering to supply packed lunches from Monday, October 26, to Friday, October 30, for anyone who is finding it difficult financially to feed their children during the school holidays. The business has also set up a Just Giving page - www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dallingandco-feedingkids - to raise money to contribute to fighting child hunger.
- Station Café, on London Road, Hemel Hempstead, is offering 100 dinner boxes to children in the community on Tuesday, October 27. In a post on Facebook it said: "Any children up to the age of 16, who are normally entitled to FSM, are welcome to pick up a free dinner box. This will be available on Tuesday, October 27, between 4PM and 6PM. Please direct message me ([email protected] or 01442241034) by 12pm on Tuesday, at the very latest to select a dinner box and arrange for a pick up.
"We will not question or share any of your details with the community. (Please note that we will not be accepting walk-ins, so please contact me ahead of Tuesday Evening). We do not ask for a lot, but in return, we would like to ask your superstars to draw us a picture of their ‘hero’, so that we can display their lovely artwork on our wall. "Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult and please wear a face covering when picking up the dinner box."
- Flavour38 Food and Desserts, Long Chaulden, will be giving children who are entitled to free school meals, free lunches during half term (from Monday, until Friday) from 11.30am to 1pm. There will be a set menu to choose from, please email [email protected] by 7pm the day before collection. For more information and to see the set menu visit their Facebook page - www.facebook.com/F38foodanddesserts.
- A resident from Hemel Hempstead has set up an email address - [email protected] - for people to email if they are struggling financially, and they will ensure they get either a hot meal or packed lunch for their children this half term. It would require 24 hours notice.
Hertfordshire County Council works closely with families across the county and supports several schemes and initiatives providing extra help, including financial support and food.
Cllr Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:v“We remain committed to supporting families at this difficult time and want to reassure all our residents that help is at hand for those who need it right now.
"We work closely with families across the county and support several schemes and initiatives providing additional extra help, including financial support, food and provision of other household supplies to families in need.
“Over the past six months we have provided additional support to more than 3,500 children and young people.
"We’ve worked more closely than ever with local voluntary and community groups, including providing £120,000 of funding for local foodbanks, enabling them to use their local knowledge to best meet the needs of their communities.
"We’ve offered grants to families facing financial difficulties to help with the costs of food, bills and the purchase of other household essentials, and these grants are still available.
"We have created a brand-new social care team to provide support to families adversely affected by the pandemic, including many who wouldn’t previously have accessed services.
“We understand the strength of feeling around the issue of holiday hunger in our communities, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on many families across the county.
"Ultimately, no child in Hertfordshire should be going hungry and we are working hard to ensure this doesn’t happen.
“If you need help, please contact HertsHelp at www.hertshelp.net, email [email protected] or call 0300 123 4044.”
We will keep this article updated as a live list throughout half-term of all the local businesses and restaurants offering help for families during half-term.
So get in touch and let us know what you are offering and we will add you to our list.
To let us know if your cafe, restaurant or pub is helping school children during the holidays, email the details to [email protected]