Published: 11:38, 27 October 2020
| Updated: 11:55, 27 October 2020
Brunch Box sandwich bar in Mill Hill led the way on Monday leaving their lunchpacks on a table at their door with 'no questions asked' to families.
Having announced plans to help those struggling, via social media, on Friday they recieved almost £500 in donations and items from the local Co-op. They fed 40 children yesterday and will continue to do so each day this week.
Emma McIntyre, who runs the business with Sarah Marriott, said: "We are both feeling overwhelmed and happy to be able to help struggling families in this way."
Award winning pasty maker Jill Martin of the Town Kitchen is making her special spaghetti bolognese for "anyone locally struggling to give a child or children a meal", at no cost involved.
The Couples Come Dine with Me winner said: "I can't bear the thought of children going hungry or without warm clothes for the winter."
She continued: "I also understand what it's like not to have enough money to give children a meal. In real hard times, with my three children, I created my 'poverty pie', never wasting a thing from cauliflower leaves, celery tops, baked beans, all went in the pie and guess what my children loved it!"
Cin Cin bar and bistro in South Court is offering a free breakfast club from 8am until 11am until Friday.
Owner Tanya Tong has placed blackboards outside with a message: "Don't be too afraid to take a little bit of help."
The Lane Bakery in Queen Street is providing a sandwich, brownie and snack on Wednesday between 11am and 3pm. Customers just need to have filled in a form on their website by noon today.
In neighbouring Sandwich , Phoebe Gaiger who runs Sandwich Grazing announced via her social media channels that they will be offering a box filled with sandwich, crisps, fruit and salad to anyone who needs a helping hand.
In a post shared by more than 200 people, she said: "This Wednesday I will be delivering a free lunch box to any families who need that extra bit of support this half term in the Sandwich and Deal area.
"There’s a choice of ham or cheese filling in the sandwich.
"Drop me a message if you would like to order a box. The cut off point will be 7pm Tuesday evening."
St Peter's Church Care and Share in Sandwich has become a donation drop off spot. Annemarie Huigen and other volunteers are then making up packed lunches which can be collected.
The Haven Cafe in King Street is also offering help to families.
MPs Natalie Elphicke and Craig Mackinlay were two of the 322 members of parliament who last week voted to stop the issuing of food vouchers worth £15-a-week during the school holidays between now and Easter.
They and others Conservative members who have faced a backlash say the current Universal Credit system already helps these families and pointed to the fact that they were the first government to offer out-of-school term vouchers over the summer.
Mrs Elphicke said: “Supporting the most vulnerable children during the Covid-19 pandemic is a grave responsibility and one I take very seriously.
"It is a shame therefore that this vital issue has been crowded out through a single focus on vouchers over the school holidays.
“The Government has confirmed a package that goes beyond holiday vouchers and that is why it has my support. As well as free school meals during term time, the package includes a Holiday Activities and Food Fund to support disadvantaged children and additional welfare payments to ensure the whole family is supported.
"Government has provided over £140 million of additional Covid funding direct to Kent County Council and Dover District Council since the pandemic hit, including for half term support.
“Community spirit is one of the many strengths of our area. I have seen so many wonderful examples of help and support since the start of the pandemic.
"Help and support is available this half term. Please contact Kent County Council for further information.”
There are 52,000 children in Kent who are eligible for the scheme. In light of the decision, people in the local communities have decided to do their bit to help children who might otherwise go hungry next week