The community of Helston is preparing to feed the town's children this half term as groups and businesses rally behind families most in need.

It comes after a motion in parliament on Wednesday, calling for free school meals to be extended into half term and the Christmas school holidays, was voted against by a majority of MPs - including all six in Cornwall.

Now people across Cornwall are coming out in support of families, to make sure no child goes hungry.

Read next: Listed: Places in Cornwall giving free food to children this half term

Among a number of new initiatives is Helping Helston, set up by Hailey Houlden-Smith, asking for donations of lunch box food that can be made into sandwiches or a lunch for a child or vulnerable person.

Items that can be given include bread, butter, cold meat, cheese, tube yoghurts, individually wrapped cakes, biscuits and crisps, and drink cartons.

Canned goods such as soup and beans are also welcomed, along with products to help distribute the food such as cling film and tin foil.

Mrs K's Fruit and Veg in Meneage Street has promised a box of satsumas and a box of bananas to the cause.

All items can be dropped to South Western Care Services at 4a Water-ma-Trout (next door to Carpet Connection) from 8am until 4.30pm Monday to Friday, thanks to Tracey Thorpe.

Packed lunches can then be collected from here between 12.45pm and 2.30pm, with plans to make up 60 meals each day between Monday and Friday.

There will also be distribution points at Helston Community College lower school carpark, Bulwark Road Park and Helston Rugby Club. 

People can message the Helping Helston Facebook to reserve a box if they wish. 

Hailey said: "We have been blown away with support. What a community we have.

"If anyone knows of anybody who would benefit from a lunch please do get in touch. This could be a vulnerable adult, or a child or family in need.

"Let's show our community spirit and look after 'our kids'."

A similar scheme will be run at the Central Methodist Church in Coinagehall Street, which will be opening between 12 noon and 1pm every day during half term, to give food out to families needing support.

Falmouth Packet:

Central Methodist Church in Helston

Rev Danny Reed said: "So the government won't help children in need to get meal vouchers during the school holidays. Once again we, the tax payers will.

"Central Methodist Church in Helston aims to care for the whole community. So, during half term those children or families who need lunch can come and get some resources and gifts of food from us between 12 noon and 1pm, Covid safe.

"Please spread the word to all who may be in need. If not near Helston why not try this yourselves and help those in need at this time."

Managers at Meneage Street fish and chip shop Salt & Vinegar will be coming in early each day next week to prepare packed lunches for children.

The team said: "Our children are our future and we, like many others around, want to protect them and see them flourish, so in light of recent events lead by the government to not extend free meals over half term we would like to offer help.

"We do not wish you to buy anything in the process, we simply just want to help anyone in need.

"We have all faced hurdles this year and our children should not have to be at this shortfall.

Falmouth Packet:

Fish and chip shop Salt & Vinegar has been left 'utterly speechless' by the response from the community

"With this, from now on our shop will always provide free bottled water and fruit for any children, please do not hesitate to ask.

"If you feel uncomfortable coming in to ask you can call us in confidentiality and we will happily prepare you a collection - 01326 565874."

They added that they had since been left "utterly speechless" after unexpectedly receiving donations and contributions towards what they are doing.

Ann's Pasties is offering any struggling a free small pasty for their child or children from its shops at the Helston, Porthleven and The Lizard.

Falmouth Packet:

Ann's Pasties is giving out free small pasties

The company said: "Here at Ann’s we know how much our friends and families enjoy our pasties and we are outraged at the government's decision to not support families in need over the next few weeks, following the amazing recent campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.

"We want to offer any one struggling a free small pasty for your child or children. If you are worried or concerned about providing lunch for your family over the next two weeks please give us a call or email and pre order for pick up from any of our shops.

"Completely confidential and no purchase needed. Email"

And Puffins Day at the Water-ma-Trout industrial estate will be giving food to all children eligible for school meals, regardless of their age.