‘We wanted to help’ – restaurant provides free meals in half term
- Credit: Archant
The owner of a Chinese takeaway said he felt “responsible” after stepping up to the plate to provide free meals for children during half term.
Philip Wong, owner of the Pearl River takeaway in Fakenham, provided meals for anyone who needed them during the October half term.
Back in October, the majority of Norfolk’s MPs voted against a motion to extend free school meals until next Easter.
Mr Wong has been involved with the restaurant since 1976 when his dad was in charge.
The takeaway was providing 15 meals a day in the week. He said everyone is responsible for making sure children have something to eat, but especially those in the food industry.
“I think it is everyone’s responsibility, to be honest, especially in the food trade as it is easier for ourselves,” he said.
“We’ve got the kitchen, we’ve got the staff. Our front of house team volunteered to come in to sort and give the food out.”
Mr Wong, who also runs a restaurant and takeaway in King’s Lynn, was providing free meals there as well. In Lynn, he was giving out between 25 and 30 lunches a day.
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“I’m a parent myself and we’ve been through some hard times in our younger days and we wanted to help out as much as we could and do a bit more for the local community,” he said.
“We thought we could actually help out by doing these lunch boxes.
“It’s a good cause because the children shouldn’t be suffering, at any stage.
“We feel proud that we managed to do something like this. We’re not looking for any sort of recognition but to be able to do even a little bit.
“Even to help just one child, it was definitely a good thing to do.”
He said that the response from people getting the meals was very encouraging when they drove up to the takeaway on Wells Road in the market town.
“Everyone was very grateful about it,” he said.
The government has since pledged to spend more than £400m to support poor children and their families in England.
The U-turn came following pressure from campaigners, including footballer Marcus Rashford.