A new website that shows the 700+ restaurants offering free kids meals has launched in time for half term in the fight to ensure no child goes hungry during the holidays.
www.freemeals.uk lets parents enter their postcode to help them find their nearest participating restaurants, see what’s available, and how to claim a free meal. The website also allows other restaurants looking to help out to get involved in the scheme.
The launch comes after a Commons debate last week saw an overwhelming majority of conservative MPs vote against a motion to provide 1.4 million disadvantaged children with free meals during school holidays until Easter 2021.
Website creator, Tom Oakley, who initiated the project, said:
“Having seen Marcus Rashford’s tweets on Friday morning listing the venues offering free food to hungry school children, I felt I could use my tech skills to build something to show these in a more easily accessible way. That’s when I started building www.free meals.uk.
“From there, I managed to find some wonderful volunteers to design and help me develop the site.”
He added: “Working all weekend, we managed to get this over the line by Sunday evening, ready to launch on Monday morning, the start of half term.”
The government has since faced mounting pressure to U-turn on their decision, following increased public anger in response to reports that catering services in the House of Commons are subsidised by the taxpayer.
This is despite MPs earning on average £81,932 each year, almost four times the London living wage.
In addition, MPs can claim under current rules up to £25 per night for food and non-alcoholic drinks when staying outside of London and their constituency.