MORE than 200 free school meals have been handed to children need thanks to a pair of Ilminster businesses.

Local factory Powrmatic teamed up with Cafe Square in the town centre to hand out up to 50 meals a day over half term.

They were two of hundreds of businesses from across England who rallied around Premier League footballer Marcus Rashford's campaign for free school meals (FSM) in the holidays.

A motion to extend the government's free meal scheme to cover half term was defeated in the House of Commons by 322 votes to 261 - a majority of 61.

Manchester United striker Rashford also launched a petition calling for free meals to families who qualify during school holidays - which has since received more than 1,000,000 signatures.

Last week, a spokesman for Powrmatic said: "Our aim is support those families most in need. No questions asked.

"Our only wish is for honesty and consideration from the community. Challenging times are ahead, so let's do this together as one community."

Adam Tovey is Powrmatic's global brand and marketing manager.

He said: "’We are absolutely delighted with the success of our FSM initiative. To hand out more than 200 meals is incredible, and knowing we have helped and supported so many families in such difficult times is really rewarding as a company.

"The community support and awareness everyone created was immense and it really brought the local community together.

"Lynda and Tracy and the team at Café Square have been incredible and worked so hard, and we cannot thank them enough for making all the lunches, we couldn’t of done it without them."

Tracey Muckersie and Lynda Brion own Café Square.

They said: "We were so happy and excited to be able to make up the FSM for the local community when Powrmatic contacted us.

"It was such a brilliant idea from Adam and Powrmatic to provide such generosity in these times to children most in need. It was great to see the community and local businesses all come together.

"To hit over 200 meals was a great achievement by everyone involved and we feel really proud as a Café of what everyone has achieved."