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Mayor of London to provide half a million free meals during half-term

26th Oct 2023 - 07:00
Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned of the severe pressures facing Londoners this winter as he urged the Government to ‘urgently step forward’ and do more to tackle the growing cost of living crisis.

Half a million meals are expected to be given out this October half-term alone, totalling more than 7m meals since April to help low-income families struggling with the soaring cost of living.

The latest City Hall polling shows that 45% of Londoners have a total household income of lower than £20,000 a year. Research from The Felix Project has shown that one in four working parents in London have skipped meals or not bought food for themselves to ensure their children can eat.

Khan said: “I’m hugely concerned about the impact that winter will have on Londoners who are already struggling due to the ongoing cost of living crisis. Charities are seeing huge demand on their services with families already worrying about how to both eat and heat their homes.

“I’m proud to be providing half a million free meals this October half-term to lower income families and will continue to do all I can to support Londoners as we build a fairer London all, but we urgently need the Government to do more. We need Ministers to use their powers to ensure children aren’t going hungry and help those in need to get through the winter.”

During term-time, up to 287,000 primary schoolchildren at London’s state primary schools are benefitting from the Mayor’s £135m free school meals programme.

Rachel Ledwith, head of community engagement at The Felix Project, added: “We know so many families are set to struggle with the high costs of living this winter. We recently found one in ten have less than £20 a week, after paying all their bills, to buy food. That's less than £3 a day to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“That is why it is so vital The Felix Project, working with The Mayor’s Fund for London and the Mayor is doing it all it can to help. These meals not only reduce the pressures on family food budgets but will ensure children are getting a hot healthy meal during their school break.”

Written by
Edward Waddell