FREE lunches are being dished up to around 80 primary aged Cradley children and their parents each week during the school holidays.

Providence Methodist Church’s Big Meal, now in its fourth year, is serving at capacity each Wednesday and also features Misty’s face painting and craft activities.

The lunches were originally launched to provide a home cooked meal for children from the town’s primary schools who were entitled to free school meals, but are now open to all.

The meals are cooked by Chris Walker, Chris Lune and Pat Southall and organised in partnership with St Peter’s CE Church.

Cradley councillor Tim Crumpton said: “This project has been going for four years now and has grown from a handful in the first year to 80 plus being welcomed here by members from the combined flock of both churches.

“I have been really happy to have been able to help along the way as these are such golden people. Everyone has a great, piping-hot meal and then the kids are entertained while the grown-ups can relax a little and talk to local friends. There are also opportunities just to sit down and perhaps get some wanted advice.

“I really believe this demonstrates how much of a close, caring and loving community we have in Cradley and I am certain that all in Cradley will join me in thanking the volunteers for all that they do. Anyone who would like to donate should contact the churches.”

The Providence also provides a hot lunch for members of the community for £4 each Tuesday at 1pm and the local branch of the Black Country Foodbank is run from the church hall.