CAFES, pubs and restaurants are offering free meals to children over half term after the government voted against extending free school meals over the holiday.

Hospitality venues are stepping up to support families who are struggling to feed their children while they are on school holidays.

The Silent Woman, Wareham, will be offering free meals to children without any strings attached. Owner Rob Barr said: "We have no terms or conditions attached to our offer, we just want to support our communities. Parents can come in and just have a glass of tap water and we will feed your children.

"This is not about profiteering or politics - it is about doing the right thing."

Rebekah's Cafe in Blandford Forum will be giving children free packed lunches over the half term break. Chef Laura Ellerton said: "This is about hungry children and we will keep feeding children as long as it is needed.

"Please drop us a message if you need a packed lunch and we will make one without asking any questions. This is not the time for division, it is the time to join together."

The John Gregory pub in Weymouth is promoting a 'kids eat free' offer when an adult buys a meal. Owner Victor Szkolski said: "Everyone is talking about this issue and we wanted to get involved to do our bit to help.

"We will be running the offer for two weeks and we hope to feed as many children as possible.

"Together we are stronger and if everyone works together we can do something good for our children."

Two Weymouth councillors have also launched a food donation service at The Nest, Weymouth, where members of the community can donate a week's worth of food which can be collected by someone in need.

Councillor Alex Fuhrmann, a teacher at Beechcroft School, said: "Councillor James and I wanted to take action and do something to help our local community.

"Children needing food does not just stick to term times and we are not going to settle for children going hungry.

"Please just rock up the The Nest and come and get some food."

The councillors will be running the food collection service today and tomorrow from 10am - 3pm.

Other Dorset venues offering free food for children include:

Fresh Prep Weymouth

Yellow Bicycle Club

The Lugger Inn

The Belvedere Inn

Shalims Balti House


White Stones Art Cafe

Nanna Moon's Cafe Bar

Lizzie Baking Bird

Loco Lobo Tex Mex

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