Lanesend free meals

By Chris Cornford Nov 8, 2020

Around 100 free school meals were handed out by a local business to children from Lanesend Primary School, Cowes, on Friday (October 30).
Steve Harris and Mark Holmes, who own the Chequers Inn, Rookley, White Lion, Niton and the Long Island cocktail bar, Newport set up the initiative which has been supported by their staff.

Cally Trott, Manager of the White Lion, and Jack Read, Manager of the Chequers helped to organise and distribute the tubbed portions of pasta bolognaise which were delivered to the school.

Lanesend Office Manager, Charli Reading, said: “We are so grateful to them. When we heard what they were trying to do, Hannah Holmes, our Safeguarding Lead, contacted them and asked if they would be prepared to drop off some food for our children.

“They were happy to do so and some of our teachers, who were on holiday for half-term, came in to help them distribute it to the children.
“We had sent out a survey to the parents to let them know the food was available, so a number of them dropped in to collect the meal. It would have made a big difference to some of them.”
Cally explained: “We hope to do this again at the next half-term and continue to help in providing free meals to vulnerable Island children. We are asking charities, schools or anyone who is already involved with this to get in touch so we know where best to give our support and are looking at making around 2,000 meals available.
“We’re also setting up a Go Fund Me page to raise money which will be donated to various Island charities such as The Foodbank. We’ve had a really good response and our staff are all doing their bit as well.

“The three businesses have teamed up, and the staff’s tips for a week, will be donated to the fund while the head chef of Long Island, Dan Mitchard, donated £1 for every meal he served on Saturday, a total of £50.
“Our chef here at the White Lion, Sean Jeffers, matched it, as did our owners Mark and Steve.
“We all want to help and try and make a difference in these strange times. Obviously, with the pubs shutting, we can’t do anything else at the moment because we aren’t ordering food, but it’s something we want to continue once we are up and running again.

“Anyone who would like to help get in touch via our Facebook account or an email to”