YOUNGSTERS across York and beyond are getting free meals this half term from city eateries determined that no child should go to bed hungry.

Dozens of needy families have already taken up the offer at fish and chippies, restaurants and takeaways as part of footballer Marcus Rashford MBE’s campaign.

Helen Thompson, of Thompsons Fish and Chips on the A64 north of York, said: “We are witnessing at first hand that this is needed, this is real and it is a very worthwhile cause.”

They served 30 free child meals at lunchtime today alone.

To prevent parents feeling embarrassed if they ask for a free meal, they are selling child meals for free this week for all customers.

Suppliers of at least one eatery have given it free ingredients to help feed children of needy families, and many of the businesses involved say they are giving something back to the communities that have supported them during the ongoing pandemic.

Other eateries that are offering child meals are Barton’s Fish and Chips on Boroughbridge Road, Acomb, and Drake’s Fisheries in Low Petergate.

EborCibus pizzas on Tanner Row will be opening extra hours on Monday and Tuesday as well as its Thursday to Sunday opening to help children. Thai Season by Pritsana in Pocklington and York is offering each child one free meal a day over half term.

The Old House on Petergate, part of the Solita chain, is open for the collection of free child meals between 3pm and 6pm.

Estabulo Rodizio at the Vangarde shopping centre is opening for takeaway free child meals from 4pm to 5pm from its reception area.

Baileys Cafe and Tearooms on Museum Street is offering a free ice cream with every child’s meal.