Free School Meals for Tower Hamlets Kids

Our Community Steps in to Help Fill Hungry Tummies this Half Term

As furlough came to an end this October, many business owners began to let their staff go. Often having no choice, unable to keep their employees on knowing that their businesses were far from recovery. It is in these most precarious times, our Tory government announced they were not going to extend Free School Meals. In a borough like ours, with the highest levels of child poverty in the country, a decision like this lays bare the vulnerability of our families. We are pleased to hear that as of Friday, Tower Hamlets Council announced they will be extending the scheme. We hope the announcement came in time and that families are aware of the support available to them. Just in case, we are helping to spread the word and also to let you know of some amazing local businesses and organisations that have also stepped forward to help.

Tower Hamlets Council

  • Tower Hamlets Holiday Meal Scheme you do not need to apply you just need to turn up. Available Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October only 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m, from the following locations:

Gayton House Chiltern Road E3 4BX

Harford Street Multi-Centre 115 Harford Street E1 4FG

Manorfield Primary School Wyvis Street E14 6QD

Mayfield House 202 Cambridge Heath Rd E2 9LJ (entrance from car park at back between Mayfield House and Shoreditch Hotel)

Meath Gardens Children’s Centre 1 Smart Street E2 0SN

Queen Mary University of London – outside Queens’ Building/People’s Palace Mile End Road E1 4NS

You will be asked to provide their families details for track and trace but other than that there are no restrictions. 


This family run vegan burger restaurant in the heart of Brick Lane, will be giving free food to kids during half-term. Husband and wife owners, John and Nelly, came from families that depended on free school meals growing up and they know first hand how much some kids really need them. After hearing the government announce they will not be providing free meals to children who need them most this half-term, they felt compelled to help families who are especially struggling due COVID-19. The kids eat free scheme at Mooshies will be running from next Tuesday 27th – Sunday 1st, 12pm – 4pm each day. Children up to the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult but adults do not have to order food to receive food for their children.

104 Bricklane

E1 6RL London

Rinkoff Bakery

Rinkoff Bakery, a Jewish family run bakery who have been feeding the East End for over 100 years is offering to help feed children during the holidays who are eligible for free school meals. They will offer a kid’s lunch selection of sandwiches, fruit juice and brownies and cookies. You’ll need to get in touch , via DM on social media @rinkoffbakery or 02077914909 to register.

222-226 Jubilee street

E1 3BS London

Mae and Harvey

The wonderful people at Mae and Harvey on Roman Rd have said they would like to help too. Natasha who runs the café felt motivated to help when she found out how many children local to her café rely on school meals. Feeling fortunate to never have experienced going hungry as a child and knowing that she could do something, made her want to try. Mae and Harvey will be making up lunches for kids who usually have free school meals but no proof of eligibility will be required. Children will receive a bag with a roll, fruit, snacks and a drink. Families can pick up between 12-12:30 Monday-Friday next week but please contact them 07725 757713 in advance to let them know you need one in order to ensure they have made enough for everyone.

414 — 416 Roman Road

E3 5LU

The Bow Bells

A great collaborative community effort. Working with partners Tower Green Hamlets and Mojo Kitchen, The Bow Bells pub will be distributing food for children in need this half term. Starting on Monday from of 12pm to 4pm. Families are invited to just pop in and pick up a pack lunch including a sandwich, fruit, snack and a bottle of water.

116 Bow Road

E3 3AA

St Paul Old Ford

Throughout half term children and young people will be able to get a free warm meal from St Paul Old Ford’s Cafe, no questions asked. The cafe will be open Monday to Friday between 10am – 3pm. Many families who may suddenly find themselves in a precarious situation or who have no recourse to public funds due to their immigration status will appreciate this.

St. Pauls Church, St. Stephens Rd

E3 5JL

Tale of India

The Tale of India will be offering children who are in receipt of free school meals a chicken or vegetable biriyani meal any day this half term between 6pm -9pm. You can call 02075372546 to book your child’s meal. Another lovely human who believes that no child should ever go hungry and that as a community we should do all we can to help.  

We really couldn’t agree more!

53 West India Dock Road

E14 8HN

The Albert Pub

The Albert will be making packed lunches for children that can be picked up or dropped off to you from Monday 27th October to Sunday 1st November.  They promise to keep all information confidential and ask nothing in return.

“No child deserves to go hungry! Where the government has stepped down, we are stepping up and making sure our local children get food they need over the school holidays. Times are even harder than usual and we all need to stick together during these difficult times.”

74 St Stephens Road


This lovely neighbourhood Italian restaurant on Roman Road will be helping out with our bambinis this half term. Call in advance to book a delicious vegetarian or meat lasagne or parmigiana. If you need help please contact Guiseppe

Pick up will be from St Pauls church.

363 Roman Rd, Bow

E3 5QR

The Works Cafe

This Half-term The Works Cafe are offering free kids lunches to their local community. No questions asked just well wishes and good energy!
Children are invited to pop in between 10am-12pm to collect or call ahead for contactless collection on 07903562680.

384 Abbott rd, Poplar

E14 0UX

Amy’s Space

Offering a free packed lunch between 12pm and 2pm on a first come, first serve basis.

55 Pepper Street

E14 9RP

Women’s Inclusive Team

Families can collect 1 of 100 meals available per day from Mayfield House between 2 pm to 4 pm. The menu will include classic school meal choices like spaghetti bolognese, fish fingers and chips and chicken curry.

Mayfield House

202 Cambridge Heath Road

E2 9LJ


Leon in Canary Wharf will be offering free breakfasts and lunches from their Little LEON menu for any children who would normally get free meals.  You can contact them for collection between Monday 26th and Friday 30th October on  020 7719 6200.

320 Cabot Square

E14 4QT

Smoke and Bones

This Texan BBQ food stall business based in Hackney Wick is teaming up with the Shahid Afridi Foundation to feed vulnerable children in London. If you are struggling to feed your family you’re invited to – DM, email or phone 020 3893 2224 and they will help where they can. Collection from Camden or Hackney Wick but they have also, very generously, offered to help when this is not possible.

And there are more coming up all the time. Check this map to see if there is a business near you.


If you are in more consistent need of help with food please make sure you register with the below foodbanks and organisations. Also, Tower Hamlets Mutual Aid is full of volunteers willing to help neighbours.

First Love Foundation

Neighbours in Poplar

Bow Foodbank

Please Sign The Petition

We are so impressed by our local community spirit but businesses should not have to do this. Perhaps hospitality businesses could be given financial support to help out ensuring their viability during what is also a difficult time for them. The government has squandered money during this pandemic and the people of Britain don’t want to see kids going hungry. Please help to ensure kids get the food they need this Christmas and sign this petiton: