United Kingdom

Couple whose wedding has been postponed FOUR times use their savings to provide kids with lunches

A kind-hearted couple whose wedding has been postponed four times amid the coronavirus pandemic have used their savings to provide kids with lunches during half-term.

Melanie Steer and her partner Ryan Chapple were due to get married this year but have had to repeatedly move the date of their wedding because of lockdown restrictions. 

They've now rescheduled for 2022 and decided to use their wedding money to help feed the children.

Melanie Steer and her partner Ryan Chapple were due to get married this year but have had to repeatedly move the date of their wedding because of lockdown restrictions. They've now rescheduled for 2022 and decided to use their wedding money to help feed the children

The couple say they were inspired by the free school meal campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford, in response for Boris Johnson's government voting against extending food vouchers  for poorer children during half-term.

Melanie, from Estover, Plymouth, said: 'It's been a bit of whirlwind  to be honest. It's got to the point where we just want to put it to the back of our minds for the rest of this year and start enjoying it again next year.

'Some places were giving packed lunches and cafes were giving away food for children who were in receipt of free school dinners that weren't receiving them now.

'We've done it so it covers everyone, so it doesn't matter about your social status or anything like that.

'Even if there's kids who were riding their bikes on the street and missed lunch they could pop in and get one. It's for any child that  needs it.'

The couple say they were inspired by the free school meal campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford, in response for Boris Johnson's government voting against extending food vouchers for poorer children during half-term

The charitable pair contacted Allan Smale, owner of Al's Kitchen in Plymouth, two weeks ago and then had the idea to use his venue to make the lunches.

'We happened to pop in for a breakfast. It was such a warming response, he was so nice and so was the food, and it was a really clean area,' Melanie explained. 

'I said to my partner one night that I'd love to use some of our money to go towards creating packed lunches for all the children. 

'There's nothing in the community for that.

'When I approached Al about it he was really excited and he said he felt really honoured.

The charitable pair contacted Allan Smale, owner of Al's Kitchen in Plymouth, two weeks ago and then had the idea to use his venue to make the lunches

'He has such a lot of space, and he was so friendly and nice and welcoming that I knew regarding confidentially - and things like that - he'd be great about it, and he has been.'

The couple have been starting every day at 8am and are making and giving out lunches until midday, where they then do deliveries to homes.

Melanie, a mum herself, said: 'We've had a couple of calls asking us to deliver.

'We've posted it on the Estover site and we've had about 500 people sharing and liking. It's nice to know that it's getting recognised in Plymouth and in our area.

'The response is really nice; everyone's been so polite and shared the same views. It doesn't matter what situation you're in, everyone needs that support, everyone's having a tough time at the moment - not just those in receipt of school meals.

'It's really shown us that communities are capable of coming together. That's been nice to see.'

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