More than one million meals delivered over Christmas thanks to free holiday meal partnership

Three young people stand with mixing bowls in a community kitchen
5th January 2024

Funded by the Mayor of London and delivered by the Mayor’s Fund for London and the Felix Project an estimated 1.3 million meals were received by families in need across London over the Christmas period. The partnership is part of the Mayor’s £3.5m investment in the Free Holiday Meals programme that has now delivered more than 10.1 million meals during school holidays and weekends since April 2023, thanks to the partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for London and the Felix Project. 

Families across the capital received free meals at a range of school holiday activities and through the Mayor’s Fund for London’s pan-London Kitchen Social community hubs network. The partnership comes out of the Mayor’s and the Mayor’s Fund for London’s work to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, as families across the capital are faced with high energy bills, rents, and food costs.  

Jim Minton, Chief Executive, Mayor’s Fund for London, said: “We’re delighted that Investment by the Mayor in this partnership will provide 10 million much-needed meals this year. Critically, this funding also enables the Mayor’s Fund for London’s pan-London, Kitchen Social community hubs network to provide life changing skills and activities to young people again this Christmas. Such as teaching young people how to prepare nutritional meals on a budget and providing free half term activities to promote physical/mental wellbeing and counteract the social isolation compounded by the deepening cost of living crisis.”  

“We know 4 in 5 young people attending our hubs are experiencing food insecurity.  Our Kitchen Social programme delivered by local community organisations are working hard to tackle this. As a result of this work, 94% of our hubs have reported their young people are more confident and physically active, 100% report feeling happier and 84% have a better understanding of how to lead a healthy life. While tackling the immediate food needs of young people the Kitchen Social hubs are also building a more resilient generation of young Londoners through their wrap around support.” 

In April it was announced that the Mayor, Sadiq Khan patron of the Mayor’s Fund for London, was investing £3.5m in emergency funding to provide 10 million free meals to hundreds of thousands of Londoners during the school holidays and weekends over a 12-month period. A target that has now been surpassed. The funding has helped children of all ages and their parents during the school holidays, with charities, schools and grassroots organisations helping to get them to those most in need through holiday food and activity schemes across the capital. Read more about the delivery of meals over the festive period and the investment in the Mayor’s Free Holiday Meal programme here 

The Mayor’s Fund for London is the largest provider of holiday food and activities in the capital, supporting children to be happy, healthy, and motivated to learn. The partnership with the Mayor and the Felix Project forms part of the MFL’s Food and Wellbeing programmes. This sees the provision of healthy meals to low-income families and young people through more than 340 community partners and 100 Kitchen Social hubs where food is provided alongside a range of activities. 

Find out more about Mayor’s Fund for London’s Food and Wellbeing programmes here