Cafes, pubs and restaurants in west Dorset are offering free meals to children over half term after Conservative MPs voted against the extension of a school meals scheme during holidays.

The community is rallying round to offer free meals for struggling families following the controversial vote.

The Three Horseshoes in Bridport is offering takeaway meals for kids from tomorrow (Tuesday, October 26) until Friday, October 30. Parents can order their children's meals before 5pm and must pick them up between 3pm and 5pm - when the pub will be closed and social distancing can be adhered to. Children must attend a school in Bridport or the surrounding areas and only one meal per child per day can be ordered.

Hannah Schep , landlady at the Three Horseshoes, said: “We don’t want any child in the Bridport area to go hungry and believe that if we are in a position to help, we should.

“The pressure of how you are going to feed the kids during school holidays is something we may all face in the future. We want to take the pressure off.

“This isn’t about politics, this is basic humanity.”

The Half Moon in Bridport is also offering free meals to children in the local area. Meals can be ordered from the venue's website from either their children's or brunch menu to be collected between midday and 1pm. Children have to attend a Bridport or Beaminster school to qualify.

Clare and Jamie Pimbley, landlady and landlord at the Half Moon, said: "We understand that it can be very hard to ask for help. In the wake of the vote to not provide school lunch assistance to those families in need over the school holidays, we wanted to reach out to our community.

"This is an act of kindness in a time when worry about the future is high & is entirely non-profit. Let's work together to end child poverty."

Other venues offering free meals for schoolchildren in west Dorset include:

  • The Haddon House Hotel, West Bay
  • The Bridge House Hotel, Bridport
  • Longs Fish and Chips, Bridport
  • Kernow Pantry, Bridport
  • Bridport Community Fridge
  • Snack Shack, West Bay
  • The White Lion, Bridport
  • Windy Corner Cafe, West Bay
  • L&F Catering Fish and Chip Van, Bridport
  • Leandos Pizza, Beaminster
  • The Half Moon, Bridport
  • Green Yard Cafe, Bridport
  • The Stableyard, Beaminster
  • Aroma Cafe, Bridport
  • Bella's, Bridport
  • Refresh, Bridport
  • Cilla and Camilla Cafe, Bridport
  • Brassica, Beaminster
  • Moore Than Tea, Bridport
  • By the Bridge, West Bay
  • Punch and Judy, Bakery, Axminster

If you know of any other outlets offering free food for children this half term, please email and let us know.