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Children aged under 16 who might otherwise go hungry once they can no longer have free school meals can go to Fika on Woolton Road and get a free breakfast.
Anthony Grice, the owner of the coffee shop, says he’s keen to do something which doesn’t need any money to be spent.
“There’s no catch, and no full-paying adult required, we just believe that no child should go without food while the schools are closed,” he says.
Anthony saw first-hand how lots of families were facing really tough times during the pandemic, when he collected donations to make up and deliver care packages to people in need.
Now with household bills going up even more, and energy, food and petrol prices soaring, he says he wanted to find another way to help.
“It’s frightening the situations that people are in, and they’re not getting the support they need. I had frontline experience during the pandemic of how people are struggling and things have definitely got a lot worse since then.
“With everything that’s going on, obviously times are really hard for people – we’re noticing the prices of everything going up ourselves, running a business, but we also realise that people increasingly depend on school dinners to help them feed their kids. For some children, that might be the only meal they get in the whole day.
“Food banks are being used more than ever before, and people are struggling more than ever – six weeks of school holidays is a long time and I’m sure lots of parents are really dreading them. I think if we can just help out a little bit and give them a free breakfast then hopefully it’ll go a long way.
“I’ve seen supermarkets and chain restaurants doing their bit, but I think sometimes they’re using it as a marketing opportunity so it’s an offer like ‘one child eats free with a full-paying adult.’
“I got tagged in a post on social media showing all different national businesses, and I actually went through the list and apart from one there was some kind of upfront charge in all of them. But if a full-paying adult can afford to pay £10 for a breakfast then they can afford to feed their kids, so to me that defeats the object.
“With what we’re doing there’s no catch, any kid can walk into our shop and I’ll feed them for free.
“I’m going to design a little kids’ breakfast menu with bacon and eggs, and toast and jam, or maybe cereal or porridge, or yoghurt, whatever it is they can have it.“
He says he’s intending to start the school breakfasts as soon as the holidays begin.
“I’m planning to coincide it with the holiday dates at our local school which is Mosspits, they break up Tuesday July 19 so I’ll probably start this on the Wednesday, the following day, at our Woolton shop. Then it will run from Monday to Friday through the holidays, before 12pm.
“We see ourselves as a central part of the community here and we help people out where we can. I love the fact that I’ve got this coffee shop that I can use to reach out to people who are struggling.
“Things aren’t perfect for us, we’re just a normal business that’s operating and trying to get by day by day, but we still want to give back and invest back into this community.
“There are people who’ve supported our business in the past and then through lockdown I was delivering food parcels to these same people. Then, once they’ve got back on their feet, they’ve come back and supported us again and made a point of coming and saying ‘thank you.’
“So it’s a full circle, people never forget when someone’s been nice to them, even if it’s something small.“
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