CHESTER businesses are doing their bit to feed children this half-term following an initiative spearheaded by footballer Marcus Rashford.

Restaurants, cafés and takeaway venues in the city are doing their bit to make sure no impoverished child goes hungry during the holidays.

It follows the controversial defeat of a Labour opposition bill voted on in the House of Commons earlier this week, which would provided 1.4m disadvantaged children in England with £15-a-week food vouchers during holidays until Easter 2021.

All 322 MPs who voted against the motion were Conservative MPs, with the exception of one who was elected as a Conservative MP but had the whip removed in July.

Although initially in "despair" at the bill's defeat, Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford MBE has since broadcast to his 3.7 million Twitter followers many community causes, venues and councils which have since said they will provide free meals for children during the holidays this coming week.

Among the ones Rashford highlighted is Palm Chester, on Watergate Street, which came as a big surprise to the owners.

Speaking to the Standard, the Palm Management team said: "The Palm team was devastated at the news that the UK Government didn’t agree to set aside provisions for free meals for children in need over the half term period.

"Marcus Rashford is doing an incredible thing to raise awareness of this, and to attempt to bring about change. After seeing his tweets, the Palm team acted immediately and created a kids menu which we’re offering for free to children facing food poverty over the half term. No questions asked.

"We were completely shocked to see Marcus actually share our post, and we hope that this has helped bring awareness to the people that need it most that Palm is here to support them next week.

"Since yesterday the response from the local community has been heart-warming. A local catering supplier has delivered packaging for us to facilitate takeaway orders, and members of the public have actually come in to offer donations. It really goes to show how amazing the people of Chester are.

"We hope that our tiny contribution is able to make a difference and we urge everyone to sign the petition to end child food poverty."

Palm Chester is offering free meals for children, offering a choice between mac and cheese with veggies, jam sandwiches and crisps, or sausage and mash.

Free fruit and a soft drink is included, and no spend is required, no questions asked, to eat in or takeaway, Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm.

Other businesses in the Chester area offering support are:

  • Fish and Chips at Weston Grove, Upton: Offering free children's meal of a small sausage and chips, or fish cake and chips. 'Just ask for Marcus' between 4-5pm on Wednesday and Thursday, October 28-29. Offer limited to one meal per day, no additional purchase required, child must be present.
  • Death by Tacos, Chester Market: Offering a free portion of tacos or nachos and soft drink. Ask for 'the Jimmy special'. Offer applies throughout whole of half-term, no spend necessary.
  • The Coach House Inn, Northgate Street: 'Kids Eat Free' month; all children aged 12 and under can eat for free from the kids' menu when accompanying an adult until November 23. One child per adult, adults must order a main dish for offer to be valid.
  • Heart and Soul Cafe, All Saints Church Centre, Vicarage Road, Hoole: Free hot meal for anyone entitled to free school meals, Monday-Tuesday, noon-2pm. Packed lunches also available when café closed Wednesday-Friday: Contact Andy on 07437 670035.
  • Chip'd, Northgate Street: Vouchers available for large cone of chips, apple and a bottle of water. Lache Community Centre team will distribute them to those most in need. Direct message Chip'd on Twitter if you need vouchers.
  • Short and Stout café, Ermine Road, Hoole: Free school lunches for children available for collection from the shop. Also collecting items for the local food bank, donations welcome at the shop.
  • Waggon and Horses, Western Avenue, Blacon: Free meals for children on offer from Monday, noon-2pm.
  • The Shrewsbury Arms, Warrington Road, Mickle Trafford: Free meals for children this half-term. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Around the Table: The bespoke catering company is offering free meals to those children in need of them over the holidays. Email for more details.
  • Phil Jones of Pop-up Picnics has helped feed scores of families by providing packed lunches and cooked dinners for children. Visit for more details.
  • Nine Elephants Thai Drink and Dine, Northgate Street is offering children a choice between teriyaki chicken or pineapple fried rice, plus soft drink or juice, for free between 4.30-6pm every day, plus noon-2pm on Saturday/Sunday, during half-term. No questions asked. Eat in or takeaway, no minimum spend required.
  • Rhino Cafe, Christleton Road, Boughton: Picnic baskets available for children. No questions asked, no purchase neccessary.   Lunches contain a sandwich, packet of crisps, chocolate bar, fruit and carton drink. Available for any child entitled to free school meals. Food donations also welcome.
  • Revolution, Foregate Street: Free meals for children between 11am-noon. 

In addition, The Welcome Network, in partnership with West Cheshire Foodbank, Mid Cheshire Foodbank and community groups in Blacon, Ellesmere Port and Newton and Hoole, Winsford and Northwich, has pulled together details of the food offer for families during the half term break.

There are a wide range of foodbank distribution points in Blacon, Lache, Newton and Hoole, Ellesmere Port, Elton, Tattenhall, Tarvin, Winsford, Northwich and surrounding areas.

For more information about local community groups who are providing additional food and activities for families, email .

Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “It continues to be a difficult and unprecedented time, and we know that there are families in our communities who are struggling financially.

“We want to make sure that families know that there is support available to them throughout the October half term. Useful resources for the half term can be found on the council website.

“I’d also like to thank the many businesses across west Cheshire who have offered their help to children over the half term.”

Cllr Robert Cernik, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “It is important that families know there is support available to them locally, such as the Community Food Offer – which is available across the borough. We would encourage these families to take up this help where it is needed.”

This article will be updated with further venues offering half-term free meal deals for children. If you're a business wishing to be featured in the list, send details via email to