Great Britain

How to get a free meal at McDonald’s this half-term as fast food chain gives out 1 million freebies

MCDONALD'S will fund one million free meals in support of England ace Marcus Rashford's push to help vulnerable kids over half-term.

The Manchester United star said the massive response from the fast food giant and other hospitality firms has been "incredible."

McDonald's is providing funding to FareShare - recently visited by Rashford - to urgently redistribute food to families who need it most.

The chain's donation is the equivalent of one million meals.

BUT, recipients can't go into a McDonald's and ask for a free meal.

FareShare is distributing the food to community groups and charities, which then pass the meals on.

Those who qualify for free school meals can collect a free meal from local homeless hostels, community centres or school breakfast clubs which get FareShare donations.

For more details, and to see the location of your nearest centre, see the FareShare website.

Fareshare is a charity aimed at relieving food poverty across the UK which the star striker has already raised £20million for.

Restaurants up and down Britain have been pledging food, resulting in thousands of meals being distributed just on the first day of October half-term.

It comes as the star striker earlier retweeted restaurants, cafes and other businesses who have been offering free meals to families in need.

The announcement came days after Rashford said kids were made to feel like they "don't matter" - after he lost his bid to get the nation's most vulnerable youngsters free school meals this winter.

MPs rejected a motion to extend free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021 by 322 votes to 261, majority 61.

But Rashford pleaded with the government to resume talks on the issue last week, adding: "A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter."

The Government is facing mounting public anger at its refusal to extend free school meals into half-term and beyond following a campaign spearheaded by Rashford.

In the House of Lords today, Lord Woolley of Woodford, said: "I passionately believe the issue of 4.1million children living in poverty - the vast majority in working families, and the subject of free school meals should not be embroiled in this present poisonous political space."

He warned that "destitution beckons" as a result of political bickering, leaving kids "going hungry and families descending into despair".

A petition kicked off by the footballers for free meals to be extended in England over the school holidays was nearing one million signatures on Tuesday (October 27) morning.

Businesses, community groups and councils have answered his call and provided thousands of free meals for kids as schools in large parts of England began their half term break.

The star striker earlier shared a list of restaurants and cafes offering free meals to schools - and said he was "blown away" by the small businesses offering their help.

Children's meal champion Rashford began tweeting the details of more than scores of locations across Britain to applaud their support.

They include Bolton, Liverpool, Wirral, Sheffield, Wigan, Bristol and Devon, Whitley Bay, Staffordshire, Nottingham, Stevenage, Teesdale , Anglesey, Whitehaven, Watford and County Durham.

McDonald's announced the partnership in a tweet, writing: "We are proud to announce a partnership with @FareShareUK to provide 1 million meals for families in need.

"Our funding will enable the urgent redistribution of meals across the next couple of weeks to those in greatest need."

Speaking on the new deal with FareShare, Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald's for UK & Ireland, said: “As a business we are committed to supporting and serving the communities in which we operate.

"In these challenging times, we know it’s more important than ever to support those most in need."

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO added: "McDonalds is showing real leadership in supporting the most vulnerable in society to get access to healthy food at this critical time.

"The funding will enable the equivalent of 1 million meals to be redistributed to our charity network very swiftly, and we are very grateful for their urgent support."

McDonald's has already donated over 400 tonnes of food and 100,000 litres of milk through FareShare and other organisations.

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