Following the government’s controversial decision to not fund free school meals over half term, businesses across the country have stepped up.
In St Albans one business that has stepped up and provided around 80 free meals is the Ridgeway Fish Bar.
Owner Dan said that they couldn’t sit back and ignore the problem and wanted to do something to help those in the community who were struggling.
He said: “Pure and simply it’s because we have been here nearly 10 years, our kids go to the local schools and we are friends with local customers.
“We do consider ourselves a bit of a community shop. It really got to me, I never had to realise the potential school friends or neighbours who are not just struggling financially but to feed their kids.”
In order to avoid unnecessary conversation, Dan said they just chose to simply rename their kids meal to the half term kids meal allowing families to order without any questions.
Dan added that they were overwhelmed with messages of support and potential donations but didn’t have the measures in place to accept donations.
He said: “We never had the answers for people asking to donate, so we made the decision that we weren’t going to accept money.”
Instead Dan has come up with the possibility of a ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme which will allow people to donate to support the families.
He said: “If we start it over another holiday period, another customer could pay ahead of time for another child’s meal. We could then print off the school meal vouchers.”
Photo credit: Ridgeway Fish Bar