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Osier Café in St Peter and St Mary’s Church, Stowmarket, offers free hot meals this half term





A café known for its generosity is offering free hot meals to struggling families this half term.

Osier Café in St Peter and St Mary’s Church, Stowmarket, has announced the offer of free meals from next Tuesday in an effort to help out parents in need.

It has been able to launch this offer thanks to its successful pay-it-forward scheme where customers can pay extra for their order to put towards giving those less fortunate something to eat.

Owner Helen Knock with the Sharing Shelf. Picture: Sam Harrison
Owner Helen Knock with the Sharing Shelf. Picture: Sam Harrison
Osier Cafe in St Peter's and St Mary's Church. Picture: Mecha Morton
Osier Cafe in St Peter's and St Mary's Church. Picture: Mecha Morton

Owner Helen Knock said: “The school holidays can be a really expensive time for parents and this is just our way of trying to help people have a nice meal without having to worry.

“I know big shops do a similar offers – but we really want people to stay in Stowmarket and support us, as well as other local businesses too.

“Sadly, people get embarrassed about their situation and we just want to make people feel normal and feel like they can go out and have a hot meal without feeling ostracised.”

Customers' generous donations to the pay-it-forward has allowed the offer free meals to happen. Picture: Mecha Morton
Customers' generous donations to the pay-it-forward has allowed the offer free meals to happen. Picture: Mecha Morton

The set menu includes porridge and egg or beans on toast for breakfast and then homemade macaroni and cheese, cottage pie and sausage and beans at lunch time. It also includes a piece of fruit and a glass of squash.

The café’s offer is mainly aimed at children, however Helen said staff will also offer the free meals to parents at their discretion.

Osier Café is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 3:15pm and serves hot food till 2:30pm.

Helen previously saw success with the launch of a ‘Sharing Shelf’ which gives people a way to donate and obtain items for those in need in Stowmarket.

Families will be able to have a hot meal without worrying about the cost. Picture: Mecha Morton
Families will be able to have a hot meal without worrying about the cost. Picture: Mecha Morton

She added: “We will never see anyone go hungry.

“We don’t know if we’ll be able to offer it every school holiday but as people have been really generous with their donations – it’s just our way of helping out.”