Telford farm shop set to feed 500 children after praise from Marcus Rashford

A farm shop in Telford which received praise from England striker Marcus Rashford has already prepared 500 free meals for children over the half-term and raised more than £2,500.

Natalie Walker of Green Fields Farm Shop
Natalie Walker of Green Fields Farm Shop

Green Fields Farm Shop announced it would provide a lunch box to youngsters who usually receive free school meals after Conservative MPs voted down proposals to feed vulnerable children during the holidays.

Shortly after, the store in Donnington was among the few across the county commended by England and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, who has fronted the campaign to extend free meals for children and once received them himself.

Since then, the shop said work had been "crazy" with donations of money and food received from residents and shops.

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Natalie Walker, store owner, said the initiative had been so successful, she set up a fundraising campaign and has now opened the scheme up to all children in need.

"It's been crazy. We've been asked to start a fundraiser as people wanted to donate money, which wasn't the original plan, but it means we can supply extras for more children," she said.

"So far we're pushing £2,500 in donations and also getting food from the public and local shops.

"We're doing about 500 packs this week, so about 100 a day.

"We've also been able to purchase drinks, cereal, milk, crisps and chocolate, so everyone who gets a lunch pack will also get breakfast the next day."

Additional funding means Natalie and her staff will also be able to provide two hot meals a day, and any money left over will be used to run a similar service over the Christmas and Easter holidays.

Natalie said it was "amazing" to be recognised by Marcus Rashford.

"We didn't expect it," she said. "It was a little idea I had after seeing a fish & chip shop do the same down south and it's now gone off the scale, which is great.

"We thought we could do something to help local children but we've had people come from further afar and it was originally just for people on free school meals, but if any adult needs help we'll help them."

To donate to the farm shop's initiative or find out about receiving help, visit Green Fields Farm Shop on Facebook.

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