BUSINESSES and community groups across St Helens and Newton-le-Willows are uniting to support struggling families by providing free lunches for children over the half term break.

Many have made the decision after the government ruled out extending the free school meal deal over the school holidays until Easter 2021.

The move would have helped feed more than 1.4 million hungry children in vulnerable families across the country.

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford MBE, who has spent months campaigning to stop child hunger through the holidays, is sharing posts from business and groups who are donating free food for children.

Here is a list of some of the local businesses, schools and community groups who are supporting the campaign.

We would love to hear from you if you know of more, so we can get the message out to those in need.

  • The Junction pub in Rainford - who will be making bacon, sausage and egg breakfast butties free for pickup for any youngsters struggling for food.
  • Dentons Deli - Open from 11-1pm for free bacon, sausage or egg breakfast barms plus fruit, crisps,snacks and drinks to choose from
  • Toast - Popular breakfast spot Toast is joining forces with Dentons Deli by offering a free ice cream or Halloween cupcake to any child who just received a free barm from Dentons Deli
  • Momos - Free small breakfast for those in receipt of benefits.
  • Amans in Newton will be offering free food for children or anyone struggling to put food on their table from tomorrow Tuesday, October 27 until Friday, November 6 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.
  • The Riddling Rack - offering free kids lunches or early teas to anyone who needs them, and a free hot drink for the parents too.
  • The Daily Grind - the popular eatery took to social media to announce how they would take part. They said: "With next week being half term, I am offering anyone on low income who’s child usually has a free school dinner to come in to the shop for either a Free Hot Soup or a Cheese, Tuna or Ham Sandwich with a bottle of Water. Please feel free to call in between 11.30 - 12.30."
  • Toast 2 Roast - Free hot or cold sandwich (selection available) and fruit.
  • Newton Deli - Free breakfast barm, fruit and drink.
  • What’s Cookin’ Earlestown - Free hot meal and a drink.
  • Thatto Heath Crusaders - free hot meals to children during half term
  • Saints Foundation and Torus - teamed up to deliver 300 half term hampers packed with food and games to St Helens families
  • Verona Kitchen and bar - have pledged to support any families having difficulty feeding their children this half term. People are asked to call and book a table or request a take out for their child at no cost.
  • Business for Youth - creating food parcels to help families in need to make up children’s lunches over half term.
  • St Helens Council - Families entitled to free school meals will be given food vouchers by St Helens Borough Council to feed their children during this October’s half-term holiday.