PUBS, restaurants and organisations across Bolton served up hundreds of meals so children across the town would not go hungry on the first day of half-term.

Bolton stepped up to the plate to back Marcus Rashford’s campaign to help feed needy kids, after MPs rejected extending free school meals over the school holiday.

Volunteers helped to make lunches at the Spread Eagle in Bromley Cross, Homeless Aid pledged to help struggling families, and Bolton Council committed £50,000 from Bolton's Fund to provide free school meals.

Families that receive free school meals can call the helpline on 01204 337221 and a package of food items will be provided to enable families to make lunches.

Rosa, an Italian restaurant in Westhoughton, cooked up pizza, spaghetti carbonara and bolognaise, as well as vegetarian options.

Thanks to the generosity of local people who also made food donations, the restaurant was able to put together food packages for families.

Bethany Walsh, who works at the restaurant, said: “Everyone of has been so supportive and it has been really lovely to see everyone pulling together. Donations are still coming in.”

The Hub in Westhoughton also made up lunches for children, which were delivered to families. Cllr Anna-Marie Watters said: “The volunteers have loved making up the meals and have been delivering them to those who are not able to pick them up.

“The families have been so grateful for the help, the smile on their faces is immense and children love receiving them, because it is like a goody-bag.”

She urged families not to exploit the scheme by ordering more food than they need from different places but to ‘play fair’ so there is enough to go around.

Cllr Hilary Fairclough also helped to hand out lunches.

She said: "Huge thanks to everyone who contributed in any way but particularly our local bakery Berts Homebake and to Angela from Bakers."