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Tower Hamlets Council is providing 20,000 free meals to children at summer holiday clubs

PUBLISHED: 13:17 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:28 08 August 2018

Kesha Ebulabatae and Kalai Young, both eight, enjoying breakfast. Pic: Ken Mears

Kesha Ebulabatae and Kalai Young, both eight, enjoying breakfast. Pic: Ken Mears

Archant

Some of the poorest children from Tower Hamlets are being provided with free meals over the summer holidays as part of a council’s scheme.

Children enjoying the holiday breakfast club organised by Tower Hamlets Council. Pic: Ken MearsChildren enjoying the holiday breakfast club organised by Tower Hamlets Council. Pic: Ken Mears

A total of 11 holiday clubs have opened in the borough to provide breakfast and lunch for 440 children over 18 days.

Almost 34,000 children in Tower Hamlets are entitled to free school meals and the council has said thousands of parents are facing problems putting healthy, affordable food on the table over the summer.

The borough has one of the highest level of child poverty in the UK.

To help combat the problem, 20,000 free meals will be given out as part of the borough’s “Fit and Fed” programme.

Manorfield School in Wyvis Street, Poplar, held its first club last week.

Headteacher Paul Jackson said: “We have 40 to 50 children each day and this is really important for them.

“Some of our children come from incredibly challenging backgrounds and some will not be doing a lot over the holidays.

“This programme allows us to provide quality food as well as games and sports for the children.”

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “No child should go hungry during the summer holidays. Due to the high cost of living in London, families can struggle to cover the additional costs associated with the school holidays.

“As well as continuing to fund universal free school meals to all primary school pupils in term time, we are also ensuring through the Fit and Fed programme that children are provided with healthy food, activities and fun in the summer holidays.”

The “Fit and Fed” scheme is being funded by the council and investment bank Morgan Stanley.

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