- More than 550,000 free holiday meals were given to Londoners this Easter due to emergency funding from City Hall
- Partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for London and The Felix Project is helping to reach low-income families struggling with the cost of living
- Sadiq’s emergency funding package of more than £3.5m will provide around 10m free meals during school holidays and at weekends over the next year
- The Mayor today steps up his calls for Government to use its own power to stop children going hungry during the holidays
More than 550,000 free holiday meals were given to families struggling with the spiralling cost of living across London this Easter, thanks to emergency funding announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
A wide range of free meals were provided at community hubs and centres across the capital to help low-income Londoners during the two-week school holiday, just over a week after the Mayor announced an emergency package of more than £3.5m to fund around 10m meals during school holidays and at weekends over the next year.
The one-off funding is in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for London and The Felix Project, who are using the money to expand their work to reach hundreds of thousands of struggling families and children of all ages in the next year with free nutritious meals
The funding includes £3.1m to the Mayor’s Fund for London and the Felix Project to expand their ready-made and cook-at-home meal provision during school holidays, with a further £425,000 to The Felix Project to expand its capacity, and allow it to deliver food on Saturdays, as well as during the week.
Earlier this month, Sadiq saw the funding in action when he visited the Bubble and Squeak community hub in Hammersmith to see young children and their families enjoying free meal, as part of a series of activities taking place at the hub this Easter.
The London free holiday meals funding follows an historic announcement in February from the Mayor to provide an emergency £130m to provide free school meals for the next academic year to primary school children in London due to the cost of living.
Sadiq is today urging the Government to do more to tackle the spiralling cost of living and the challenge of children going hungry in the holidays by increasing funding to ensure that all children in food-insecure households in London can access food. Currently, the Government’s criteria excludes approximately half of children in food-insecure households, while the funding that is provided does not stretch far enough.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m hugely proud that thanks to funding from City Hall more than 550,000 free meals were provided to families in London over the Easter holidays.
“It simply isn’t right that so many Londoners are struggling to put food on the table due to the spiralling cost of living and food prices. That’s why I provided emergency funding that will see millions more meals provided to hundreds of thousands of Londoners most in need over the course of the next year.
“I will continue to do all I can to support low-income Londoners as we build a fairer London for everyone, but it is vital that Government also steps forward urgently to use the power it has to stop children going hungry during the holidays.”
Jim Minton, Chief Executive, Mayor’s Fund for London, said: “The Mayor’s Fund for London’s partnership with The Felix Project has been able to support children and families with more than 550,000 meals during the Easter holidays. The support was provided through over 500 community organisations across all 33 London boroughs, and included holiday meals and activities, low-cook recipe boxes and also hot nutritious ready-meals, which would have made a big difference particularly as the weather has been cold and wet. As food and energy prices continue to rise for London’s families, this provision is vital in reaching those most in need, and thanks to the backing of the Mayor and many other funders we’ll continue to support young Londoners and their families throughout every school holiday this year.”
Charlotte Hill OBE, CEO of The Felix Project said: “We know too many people are struggling at the moment, so we are delighted that the first round of this programme has provided meals for so many families and children across London. This partnership is vital and will make sure for the next year, food that would otherwise have gone to waste, is instead providing a safety net to those on low-incomes, who are experiencing food insecurity.”
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