Cost of Living: Struggling families can claim free food at Littlehampton café

Families struggling to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis can now claim a free meal at a café in Littlehampton.

Toast Café in Norfolk Road, Littlehampton has introduced a ‘pay with a post it’ board, where staff members have ‘pre-paid for certain treats’, including; a regular breakfast; any kids meal; any milkshake or any hot drink.

“Have you found yourself in a tight situation?”, the café wrote on Facebook.

"Have you lost your job and finding it hard to feed your child?

“Here at Toast we want to help you get through these hardships were currently facing.

"If you have found yourself struggling to feed your child, treat your child, or just down on your luck and struggling personally at the moment, then simply take a post it from the board that applies to you, and redeem at the counter.”

Café manager Joanne Lynch, whose parents own the business, said generous customers have also been contributing to the scheme.

She said: “This is for anyone who is struggling or having a bad day.

Toast Café's Joanne Lynch and Elsie Spight

“They can find whichever post-it note applies to them and brings it to the counter. We can then exchange it with whatever is on the post-it.

“It has got such a big response, with loads of people using it.

"We’ve had mostly single-parent families and a few elderly people.”

During the pandemic, Toast Café became a ‘community hub’, offering a delivery service for elderly and vulnerable residents.

Toast Café in Norfolk Road, Littlehampton has introduced a ‘pay with a post it’ board, where staff members have ‘pre-paid for certain treats’, including; a regular breakfast; any kids meal; any milkshake or any hot drink.

Joanne said this latest idea came from another coffee shop who shared the idea on social media.

However, she was also inspired by her own four-year-old daughter.

"She was asking for extra food for her friends in nursery,” Joanne said.

"We want people to donate within their means.

"That’s why this has really taken off. It’s just been amazing.”

Updating guests about the success of the scheme, on social media, Joanne said the support its had has been ‘truly inspiring’, adding: “This idea has already helped so many of you and I am so overwhelmed with the response.

“I would just like to take the time to reassure anybody who is to embarrassed to come in that there is no shame reaching out when you need a bit of support.

"Our quietest hours are between 7.30am to 9am, and 3pm - 4pm for anybody who is to overwhelmed to come in whilst were busy.

“So please anybody who is anxious about using it please be reassured that no questions are asked. For those parents who are struggling but do not receive free school meals, I am happy to switch the kids meal for a kids packed lunch.

"This is a new idea and I would love to help as many people as I can through this board.”