Marcus Rashford tweets support for Suffolk pub amid free school meals row

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford – who has been tweeting support for businesses offering free school meals – has included a Suffolk pub in his round-up.

The footballer, 22, has been featuring scores of firms that have opted to give children free food during the school holidays on his Twitter feed, amid a row over a Government vote on free school meals.

On Wednesday, Conservative MPs rejected Labour’s Opposition Day motion to extend free school meals by 322 votes to 261, with five Tory MPs rebelling.

The controversial decision means children will not be provided with free school meals during the holidays.

MORE: Ipswich restaurant to offer free meals to school pupils at half-term – after Government says it won’tThis morning Mr Rashford, who has shared his own experiences of receiving free school meals, featured The Dun Cow pub in Bardwell, near Bury St Edmunds – in his round-up of businesses offering free food to children.

The tweet attracted hundreds of likes within minutes and showcased the pub’s mission to offer free lunches to children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for this coming week.

Scores of businesses up and down the country have jumped on board with Mr Rashford’s campaign in the past 48 hours.

Ballingdon Valley, an independent restaurant in Sudbury, has also pledged to pick up the tab to ensure children do not go hungry during the holidays.

MORE: ‘Not a long-term solution’ - MP defends vote against free school meal extension

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Chef and owner Abdus Shahid said: “There is no need for any child to go without a basic meal in the UK in 2020.

“We want families to know that if run out of food or necessities, or times are just tough, please don’t let you or your kids go to sleep on an empty stomach.

“Let’s all work together to get through this.”

Meanwhile, The Grill at Twenty5 in Ipswich became one of the first businesses to offer free lunches to youngsters after the controversial vote earlier this week.

Manager Tina Leamon said: “We would like to try and help those struggling that little bit more for whatever reason.”

Government officials are continuing to defend the move and say it has increased welfare support.

They added that tens of millions of pounds in funding has been pumped into councils to help vulnerable families during the Covid-19 pandemic..

The Prime Minister is now facing calls to meet with the footballer to discuss his free school meals campaign.

MORE: Suffolk MPs back government to reject free school meals extension