Norfolk pub gives 65 free school meals away

Paul Sandford, landlord at The Railway Tavern in Dereham. Picture: Archant

Paul Sandford, landlord at The Railway Tavern in Dereham. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A Mid-Norfolk pub gave away 65 free meals to children who need them yesterday - more than double what they had expected.

The Railway Tavern in Dereham committed to providing free school meals after parliament voted against Labour’s amendment to extend the meal provision into the holidays by 322 votes to 261.

“We’ve got orders coming out of our ears today as well, which is good - it shows there’s a real need for it,” said pub landlord Paul Sandford, who praised the generosity of local companies in providing them with ingredients.

“I just think there shouldn’t be any children in this country going without food. I’m struggling to get my head round it, because it’s not rocket science. If they need free meals at school, they’re going to need those meals at half term as well.”

Asked about local MP George Freeman’s recent change of mind on the issue, Mr Sandford said: “Whatever happens, it’s too late for them to do anything about this week.”

More than 50,000 people have seen the Railway Tavern’s Facebook post announcing that they would be stepping in to provide meals, a figure Mr Sandford called “unbelievable.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter