Wiltshire Council is joining dozens of local authorities up and down the country to offer free meals to vulnerable children during half-term.

The decision comes amid growing discontent over the government's refusal to back Labour's motion, supported by footballer Marcus Rashford, to extend the voucher scheme into the holidays.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, said: "We know that many families are feeling the financial pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to do all we can to support them.

"We want to ensure that children do not go hungry during these school holidays and want to ensure that Wiltshire families know that they will be supported during these difficult times by putting these measures in place."

In the past week, dozens of businesses in and around Salisbury stepped up to offer free meals to children this week.

These include home care agency There4U, The George and Dragon, Tinga, Inc and Kludo and Popeyes.

Dorset Council is also offering free meals with families encouraged to call 01305 221000 to ask for support.

Cllr Mayes added: "If you are entitled to free school meals or universal credit and struggling to pay for food over half term, please contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub for support."

For more information on how to claim, contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub Team on wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 0300 003 4576. The team is available Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm.

Wiltshire Council's decision will be reviewed throughout the pandemic.