A FISH and chips van is offering children free meals over the half term, inspired by footballer Marcus Rashford.

Starchip Enterprise which is based around Badsey and nearby villages is offering a free meal off the kids menu to youngsters whose parents are struggling to feed them over the school break. This is amid a national campaign spearheaded by the Manchester United player Marcus Rashford who says children who get free school meals could go hungry over the holidays.

Owner of Starchip Jeffrey Warren said: "I had free school dinners when I was growing up, and I'm just so happy to be able to help out."

Local schools have sent a text to all the parents whose children get free school meals to let them know where the van will be over the half term. The children can show staff the text if they want to be discreet, however the Starchip staff won't turn children away.

Mr Warren doesn't want people to feel embarrassed about asking for a free meal. He said: "We won't make a big deal out of it."

Mr Warren said: "We used to feed a lot of kids in the holidays at the adventure playground near Morrisons (in Evesham). You wouldn't think of Evesham as a poor place but I was surprised by how many people do struggle to feed their kids in the school holidays."

The children can visit the van for a free meal twice a day.

The van will be in Badsey on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon and Offenham village on Friday afternoon. On Saturday evenings it will be in Mickleton, on Friday evenings, Bretforton, on Thursday evenings in Offenham and Wednesday evenings Harvington shop. The afternoon times are 11:30-1:30 and evenings are 4pm-7:30pm.

Throughout the pandemic Starchip have also helped out by feeding NHS workers and care home staff in the area.