A BAKERY owner in Worcester has vowed to feed hungry children this half term, while a school has donated to the city's foodbank.

This follows the government – and Worcester MP Robin Walker – voting against Labour's motion to provide free school meals during half-term.

Sam Barriscale, owner of Ma Baker's, in Cranham Drive, Warndon, said he was supporting Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to feed any child who is going hungry during the Covid pandemic.

Mr Barriscale said: “Our elected MP has voted for the poorest children to go without food this half term. I cannot put into words how I feel about this without getting a Facebook ban.

“So what we’re offering is, if you know a child that is going to struggle to eat over the half term, please send them our way for a filled roll or a hot pastry.

“Please don’t be embarrassed or proud. If you’d like to call me personally so you don’t have to ask in the shop, please use the mobile number on the website and I’ll make sure it’s ready for your child to collect.”

Worcester Foodbank showed its support, with a spokesman saying: “We know our local community will never turn its back on the hungry - that’s why over the past eight years people have donated a staggering 500 tonnes of supplies to us.

“Many more have invested their money, time and enthusiasm to support those in crisis - end child food poverty.”

The Trussell Trust, which runs Worcester Foodbank, supported the campaign too. A spokesman said: “Today, Marcus Rashford is shining a light on the incredible compassion and generosity that exists in communities across the UK.

“But none of us should be forced to turn to charity for food. It isn’t right that this winter foodbanks are expecting to give out six parcels a minute.

“We must harness the compassion and power we have when we come together, and push for long-term solutions in our social security system – solutions which keep money in the pockets of people who need it most.”

Northwick Manor Primary School announced it had donated a van-load of food to Worcester Foodbank.

A spokesman said: “We are so delighted that our amazingly generous parents were able to help today with a massive donation of food.

“What an amazing ‘Feel Good Friday’ and Harvest celebration. The van was very nearly full.”

Elsewhere in the county, Leigh and Bransford Badgers Football Club has set up a foodbank collection point.

Club chairman Simon Secretan approached Malvern Hills District Council leader Cllr Sarah Rouse for support to help create a permanent collection point for Malvern Hills Foodbank at the home of Malvern Town FC.

Cllr Rouse agreed to fund the weatherproof container to store the food from her ward budget.

Chris Pinder, chairman of Malvern Town FC, agreed to host the donation bin at the HDAnywhere Stadium, where The Badgers carry out their winter training on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.

Mr Secretan said: “With so many players, if they bring just one item weekly, every other week or monthly, what a massive difference we can make to the community that surrounds both clubs.We hope ‘when we train or play, we donate’ will become the norm.”

Cllr Rouse said: “This is another wonderful example of the amazing community spirit we have in our district.

“Sadly, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is going to increase the need for the service our foodbanks provide and schemes like this one are going to be important so we can make sure nobody goes hungry.”

Peter Buchanan, chair of Malvern Hills Foodbank, said: “Malvern Hills Foodbank is delighted to know that the football community is supporting us.

“We wish that as a society we did not need to have foodbanks and that everyone had sufficient money to meet their needs.

“However, as long as the need remains, we will seek to help the most vulnerable in our society, which we can only do thanks to the generosity of so many in the Malvern district.”

Mr Pinder said: “If every fan brought just one item of food for our Foodbank collection box before every home game, we’d easily fill it. I’m asking everyone to raid their cupboards and let’s do our bit.”

Manchester United and England forward Mr Rashford’s petition to end child food poverty lead to a motion put down by Labour that was defeated by 322 votes to 261 on Wednesday.

City MP Mr Walker said it was drafted as a motion no government member could support, saying “This is a classic opposition trick.”

Are you a business owner in Worcester looking to help out? Let us know by contacting tom.banner@newsquest.co.uk