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Preston chippy pledges free food for children over the summer holidays

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Oliver's chippy Free Kids meals

A fish and chip shop owner from Preston has pledged hundreds of free kids’ meals over the six weeks summer holidays to ensure no child goes hungry. 

Gillian Jervis of Oliver’s Chippy is offering to feed local children for free every Wednesday during the school holidays between 12 and 2pm. Under 18s can claim a portion of fish bites, chicken nuggets or sausage, chips and a drink, plus a bag of sweets or fruit. There is no catch, no questions asked and no spend required. 

The initiative launched yesterday with 70 children taking up the offer. With another five weeks to go, the chippy could be giving away anywhere up to 450 additional meals. 

Gillian comments: “There’s no stamp, there’s no divide, I don’t care if you’re a millionaire or you’ve nothing, I’m just feeding a child as far as I’m concerned so there are no empty tummies. 

“I don’t know every parent’s situation, but what I do know is that it’s never the child’s fault. And I’d like to think that the children coming in will grow up and think, I was starving one day, but somebody helped me, and that will encourage them to do something for somebody else.”

Oliver's Chippy free school meals

Gillian’s generosity isn’t a one off, she first started giving away kids’ meals in the Easter and summer holidays last year and wanted to repeat it this year. So far she estimates the chippy has dished out over 1,100 free lunches.

Even with the cost pressures over the past 12 months, Gillian has stood by her pledge this summer, adding: “Some days we’ve had 30 kids in for their free meal, others we’ve had 90 so it’s hard to know exactly how many free meals we will give away this summer. But I try and look at the bigger picture and take out all the politics and all the price increases and do what I can. Luckily for us, we signed a contract for our energy just before all the prices went up, so that has helped us massively.

“It’s something I’ll always do because we will ride out this current situation. Things will improve.”

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