Free pub meals for kids during school holidays

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lunch (and dinner) is served: the Crown Inn is giving away hundreds of meals to families struggling in summer (image: Mike Faherty, Geograph)
Lunch (and dinner) is served: the Crown Inn is giving away hundreds of meals to families struggling in summer (image: Mike Faherty, Geograph)

Related tags: Children

A pub has given away more than 500 free meals to help families struggling throughout the school holidays.

Publicans David Yeomans and Luke Skinner felt compelled to do something for their community after seeing a plea from the local food bank for donations while children were off school.

The pair filled a trolley with food for the bank but wanted to do more to help their town of Keynsham, Somerset.

Families in need can come to the Crown Inn for a free sandwich and snacks for lunch and a cooked dinner to take away.

The pub has also started hosting free parties for children on Fridays with live entertainment and buffet food.

After an overwhelming reaction, owner David Yeomans said the pub will continue to provide meals in future school holidays and host a weekly after-school school club in term time. 

Community spirit

Yeomans explained: “I thought 'we could do something ourselves and offer something to people who need it’, so that's what we did.”

 

“Families can come in at lunch and get a sandwich, either cucumber sticks or carrot batons, and some biscuits, and squash. Then we give them a free meal to take away with them, for the evening.”

Meals provided have included sausage and mash, casserole, pasta dishes, roast chicken and fresh salmon, so far.

“We have gone through about 500 so far in just over a week,” said Yeomans.

Discretely handled 

Staff have been told to ask anyone with children if they would like a free meal in order to avoid customers feeling nervous.

The pub operator added: “[The customer reaction] has been really positive. We have tried not to make a song and dance about it with the customers that come in to use it. 

“We don't want them to feel ashamed for using it. We treat them like any other customer who comes in, ask if they have a good day, if we see kids we ask if they want something to eat.”

Food banks across the country have seen an increase in the number of people needing help during the long summer holidays, when children miss out on free school meals.

National charity Trussell Trust distributed 87,496 food parcels to children while they were off for their school holiday in 2018 and expect the number could be higher this year.

Related topics: News, Events & Occasions

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