Budleigh café steps in to provide school lunch parcels

Chris Fletcher's daughter Holly, aged,7, helping making lunches for children

Chris Fletcher's daughter Holly, aged,7, helping making lunches for children - Credit: Chris Fletcher

A Budleigh Salterton business is again coming to the aid of the town’s hungry children by providing free packed lunches during the latest lockdown. 

The GIngerbread House, in High Street, will be offering free lunch parcels to families while the national restrictions are in place. 

This comes after the Gingerbread House, and other businesses in Exmouth and Budleigh, provided school meals during the October half term when the Government announced it was not extending its free lunches programme. 

Chris Fletch, a father-of-two who owns the business, said that no child should go hungry. 

He said: “It’s not fair on the parents; a lot of parents get stick for not being able to feed their children but it’s not that simple.  

“People’s jobs have been decimated during this lockdown and many people can’t afford to feed their kids at the moment.” 

Chris decided to act after pictures surfaced online of what food parcels - which should contain enough food for five days - put together by a school meal provider will contain – drawing criticism from parents. 

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The photo, which shows the offering from one particular school meals provider, shows a pack containing a loaf of bread, a can of baked beans, two bananas, two carrots, two potatoes, three apples, a tomato and some cheese and yoghurts. 

The Gingerbread House lunch pack will contain a sandwich, a choice of fresh fruit and a drink and they can cater for dietary requirements such as gluten-free. 

Chris put a message out on social media on Tuesday (January 13) and was already getting requests within 24 hours. 

The Budleigh café also re-opened its takeaway and delivery service on Saturday (January 16) and from Sunday started delivering hot roast dinners to residents’ doors. 

People will have three choices of meals which will include a vegetarian and a vegan option along with four different fresh vegetables and cauliflower cheese. 

The Gingerbread House will also be offering to deliver special lunches from this week. 

Chris added: “If we don’t do it, who else is going to? People still need to be fed.” 

To get in touch with the Gingerbread House team, visit their Facebook page. 

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