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Bury St Edmunds schoolboy inspired by Marcus Rashford's school meals campaign launches food appeal to help children in need

An eight-year-old boy inspired by football player Marcus Rashford's school meals campaign is collecting food to support children in need.

Frankie Farrelly, of Bury St Edmunds , was 'heartbroken' to hear children across the UK go without food and was spurred into action after the government voted against providing food during the holidays to those who are eligible for free school meals.

It follows a campaign by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford to fund the provision of school meals during the half-term and Christmas breaks.

Frankie Farrelly, 8, of Bury St Edmunds, is appealing for food donations
Frankie Farrelly, 8, of Bury St Edmunds, is appealing for food donations

The Tollgate Primary School pupil already collects and recycles crisp packets to support the East Anglian Air Ambulance and posted an appeal on his Facebook page for donations of food for children, which he will give to local food banks in Bury St Edmunds.

The post begins: "Me and mummy fully support Marcus Rashford's campaign! NOT Boris!"

His mum Scarlett Easdown, 29, said: "Frankie is such a clever little boy. He's so up to date with the world and loves to sit down and watch the news.

Marcus Rashford. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Images
Marcus Rashford. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Images

"When we heard Marcus Rashford's campaign had been turned down again, he couldn't understand it and got very frustrated."

After he asked his mum what they could do to help, she suggested they donate some food and ask others if they wanted to help.

Miss Easdown said: "We posted it on his Facebook page that we stand with Marcus Rashford and not Boris.

"The response we've had has been amazing.

"It was literally decided Friday. We've already got two massive boxes of food.

"Frankie said 'I would never want to see someone sit there and go hungry, I would give them my lunch'.

"He just cares. It makes me very proud of him."

He is collecting tinned items, cereal, biscuits, pasta, sugar, tea bags, coffee, fruit squash and powdered milk.

Frankie has been collecting crisp packets for a year working with Lakenheath Crisp Packet Recycles.

The recycled packets raise money for the air ambulance and some of them are also made into thermal blankets.

They are looking for a venue to place a local drop-off bin for the crisp packets so they can collect more.

They are collecting food donations until November 5.

To donate food to Frankie's appeal, contact his mum via www.facebook.com/Frankiecrisppacketcollection or email scarlett.easdown27@gmail.com

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill have defended the government over its refusal to extend free school meals for children over the holidays.

Mrs Churchill said: "I understand the concerns of constituents regarding my vote, but it is important to note that this opposition amendment was made purely for the half term holiday week with no plan for delivery within such a short time scale."

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