Croydon joins 27 London boroughs offering half-term meals

Out of school for a week at half-term, many children could go hungry

Croydon yesterday became one of 28 London boroughs to defy the Tory government and arrange for those children who normally receive free school meals to continue to be fed over the half-term holiday.

No formal announcement has been made on the council website, though the local authority’s Twitter feed yesterday at lunchtime (suitably) put out the message: “If your family usually receives free school meals and you’re struggling during half-term, you can apply to our schools team for supermarket vouchers. Contact“.

The response of hundreds of councils and businesses across the country comes in response to the campaign instigated by Manchester United footballer, Marcus Rashford, in an effort to reduce and eliminate food poverty among the nation’s children.

Even Croydon, in the middle of its financial crisis, has managed to find some resource to help the borough’s children

Since the coronavirus pandemic, many of those in low-paid jobs have had their hours cut and income reduced. When their not getting their daily meal at school, many children have gone hungry.

Last week in parliament, the Conservatives – including local Tory MPs Chris Phil and Paul Scully – voted against a Commons motion that would have seen the government fund meals for children.

Of the four London boroughs who have not yet put together a meals scheme for this week’s half-term break are the Conservative-controlled near-neighbours Bromley and Bexley.

In neighbouring Sutton, a LibDem-controlled council, they are still… thinking about it. On their Twitter feed yesterday, they wrote that the council there “is working on a scheme to support families and ensure no child goes hungry. Full details including on eligibility to follow”. The local Labour Party is running a petition calling on the council to pull its finger out (the dates of this half-term week have been known for years).

In Croydon and across the capital, many community-spirited businesses have rallied to the free meals cause and inspired by Rashford’s campaign are offering children food.

To find a business near you which is part of the scheme, visit and enter your postcode.

As the Daily Star pointed out, MPs continue to get their subsidised meals

“Food poverty among children is a really important issue,” a member of Croydon’s community covid-19 support group said today.

“Our appeals for donations to food banks remain in place, as the demand for help has not reduced since the easing of lockdown. In fact, some food banks report even greater demand as some families have come to the end of their furlough period.

“But what businesses are doing to help over half-term is heart-warming and can only be congratulated – as Marcus Rashford has shown, there are still many people who want to do the right thing by their community.

“We just hope that those Croydon residents who are able to help to support some of these businesses with their custom in the coming weeks, as a gesture of thanks.”

  • Any Croydon-based business that is providing free meals for children this week who would like a free ad with Inside Croydon (average 10,000 page views per weekday), please write to The Editor, and we will reply with the details of what you need to do next. Offer open until November 6

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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7 Responses to Croydon joins 27 London boroughs offering half-term meals

  1. Lewis White says:

    Good on Croydon ! In the disrupted Covid-time world, we need all the stability we can get. Hungry children need nurturing.

  2. sedley wilson says:

    if croydon has money problems how are they going to pay for free meal?

  3. William Francis says:

    “is working on a scheme to support families and ensure no child goes hungry. Full details including on eligibility to follow”- that’s more like putting a plan together rather than thinking about whether to participate.

  4. Helen Benjamins says:

    This is the first time in a very long time, possibly years, that I can take pride in being a born and bred Croydon girl.

  5. arewenotben says:

    Very good news. Shame on Philp and Scully for voting to let the most vulnerable children go hungry.

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