A Stroud pub landlord and Manchester United fan has launched his own initiative to feed those in need during lockdown 3, inspired by Marcus Rashford.

Seb Devlin, who runs the Prince of Wales in Cashes Green with landlady Lucy Halliday, is cooking and giving away hot meals with “no strings attached” to anyone who needs one.

With the help of donations from Helping Hands Gloucester and Cashes Green Football Club, the couple have 600 meals to give to people who fall through the government’s safety nets.

“There are people who may have lost their job a week ago, a month ago, who weren’t getting free school meals, and those are the people I’m trying to catch,” said Mr Devlin.

“The struggle is real. There’s always been one but in this lockdown especially it’s going to be worse because more people are losing jobs every single day.”

Between February and November 2020, 819,000 fewer people were on a payroll, over a third of which were from the hospitality sector, according to the Offince for National Statistics.

Mr Devlin, who took over the pub in 2019, gave out 30 free meals during the second lockdown for families with children, but has since expanded his operation to all vulnerable people.

“The initiative started when Marcus Rashford was calling for free school meals and I decided that I wanted to do something for the community. There were people who needed help – I’ve got a 2 year old daughter and to see kids not being fed is not a nice thing.”

He said anyone can now phone up, tell him how many meals they need and he will give them a collection slot – no questions asked.

“The reason I’ve tried to make it as anonymous as possible is because some people don’t like to ask for help.

“I believe that it’s important for people to get a hot meal no matter what your situation is."

The meals include chicken nuggets, sausages or mac ‘n’ cheese with chips, beans or peas, a chocolate bar and a drink.

Contactless collection slots are available between noon and 2pm, Monday to Friday, but Mr Devlin will deliver meals to anyone who is shielding.

To ask for a meal, call the Prince of Wales on 01453 492347 or contacted them on Facebook.