Greater Manchester businesses back Marcus Rashford by volunteering to feed kids this half term

A number of local businesses in Greater Manchester are coming forward in support of Marcus Rashford by offering to provide food for children going hungry this half term.

Independent cafes, pubs and restaurants in Manchester city centre, Didsbury, Bolton, Wigan, Urmston and more are among the Greater Manchester businesses volunteering to lend a hand in an act of kindness sweeping the nation as we speak.

It comes following a bid to extend the free school meals voucher scheme over the school holidays until Easter 2021 which was rejected by the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, and then subsequently defeated after 322 Conservative MPs controversially voted against the extension in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

This was in response to an ongoing campaign and petition driven by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford.

The devastating outcome of this vote also arrived ahead of October half term, and shortly before Greater Manchester entered into Tier 3 restrictions under the government’s new three tier coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions scheme after a saga which saw Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham “fight for a fairer deal” for communities in the region.

But luckily, local businesses are here to help out.

The Wythenshawe-born footballer took to Twitter yesterday evening to express his how “blown away” he is to see so many businesses across the country contribute. He said: “Blown away by news of local businesses stepping up to fill the voucher scheme deficit during the October half term.

“Selflessness, kindness, togetherness, this is the England I know.”

He then went on to spread the word of a wealth of places throughout England that have come forward to offer support.

Baker’s in Bolton, The Courtyard Cafe in Wigan, Astoria Bar & Restaurant in Urmston, Khandoker Indian Restaurant in Didsbury, Mikikin Paint a Pot Art Cafe in Sale, SEVEN BRO7HERS Brewery & SIS4ERS Distillery in Salford, and Thyme Out Food Co in Didsbury are among the businesses in Greater Manchester to have received a shoutout by Marcus Rashford himself.

Each business has urged those struggling over the half term to get in touch for support.

Heaton Park Golf Course in Prestwhich, and Shelly B’s Cafe in Royton, Oldham are also offering packed meals for families to collect, Lords of Middleton butchers are offering a “meat voucher scheme”, and Heath St Fish & Chips in Golborne will be providing any child “in need” with a free chips and sausage, and will be donating fruit to add to the meals too.

Free meals are also being offered by:

That’s not all though.

The Mess Cafe and Message Community Grocery in Wythenshawe is offering a ‘pay with a post-it’ scheme, SANSAN in Prestwich is donating 10% of its profits this weekend to Fare Share Greater Manchester, Hunters Estate Agents in Leigh will be preparing lunch boxes with a sandwich, crisps, fruit and a drink for parents to collect, McDonalds UK is working with FareShare to “provide one million meals to families in need”, and kids can even eat free at M&S Cafe’s across the region this half term too.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has also partnered with Coop to “provide 1,000 food vouchers across the city-region to young people who may need access to a meal during half-term”.

Some local councils in Greater Manchester – Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, Oldham Council, Rochdale Borough Council, Wigan Council, and Bury Council – have also stepped up to help, with others likely to follow.

We have no doubt that other businesses right across the ten Greater Manchester boroughs and neighbouring towns are likely to contribute support to this initiative, so if you are in need a helping hand this half term and as the winter draws in, please do not feel ashamed to reach out to those local to your area.

Or if you are struggling to find somewhere near to you that is offering its services, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at The Manc and we will be more than happy to help point you in the right direction.

Our DMs are always open, and we are here to listen.

A number of participating businesses are also welcoming contributions from the public to help provide this service to as many children across the local communities as possible, so if you would like to make a donation, you are encouraged to reach out and see if there’s any way that you can be of support.

Contributions can also be made to food poverty relief charity Fareshare UK – the organisation that Marcus Rashford has partnered with for the ongoing the #endchildfoodpoverty campaign – via its website here.

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Times are turbulent, but real community spirit has never been stronger than it is at this moment.

To see the people of this region come together to support one another when it’s most needed perfectly illustrates what it means to be Mancunian.

This is what makes Greater Manchester so great.

We’re in this together.