Amidst the current cost of living crisis, Sadiq Khan has thrown a life-line to those worrying about the financial strain of the Easter holidays. Khan announced the release of £3.5 million of emergency funding that will be allocated to providing free meals to struggling families. The funding will last for a year from the Easter holidays, providing considerable assistance to many families in London.
The specific criteria for who would qualify for the free meals has yet to be released. However, the money will be passed along to charities, who will in turn supply the meals to low income families across London.
Said Sadiq Khan:
“I have repeatedly called on the Government to do more to help those in need and support families during the school holidays, but they have not provided the assistance that is urgently needed. That’s why I’m stepping in today with a major new emergency funding package that will provide around 10million free holiday meals to hundreds of thousands of Londoners most in need. I’m committed to doing all I can to support Londoners through this cost of living crisis and will continue to urge ministers to step forward and do the same as we build a more prosperous London for all.”
Sadiq Khan and the Mayor’s Fund for London will also be working with The Felix Project to include surplus food as part of the plan. The Felix Project tackles two huge problems facing London at once: curbing the city’s immense surplus of fresh food by diverting it to “charities and schools so they can provide healthy meals and help the most vulnerable in our society”.
Said Charlotte Hill of The Felix Project:
“We know many parents are struggling to afford to put food on the table and rely on school food banks to top up their weekly shop, alongside free school meals for those who are eligible. When schools are closed families face increased costs and more stress trying to make sure they have enough to feed their children. That is why it is vital food provision continues during school holidays.
“We are delighted to receive this incredible support from the Mayor of London and be working with The Mayor’s Fund for London so we can guarantee to provide this lifeline for the next year. I hope it will help low-income families to reduce the ever-increasing pressure on their budgets.”
The recent measure comes in the wake of a February announcement that Sadiq Khan would release emergency funds to provide a year of free school meals for primary school children in London. This year-long measure will commence in September, covering the 2023/24 school year.
Every holiday period is a call for celebration. But it’s also a good time to look around and provide help where you can. Find out how you can help, by volunteering with the Felix Project for example, here.