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Queen Mary provides 500 free half-term meals to families in Tower Hamlets

Queen Mary University of London's Catering Team is supporting children and families in Tower Hamlets this October half-term holiday by offering 250 meals a day for local families on Thursday 29 October and Friday 30 October.

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The ready-made hot meals will be available for collection between 12pm and 3pm outside the Queens’ Building on Mile End Road. Children who receive free school meals during term time and any family that needs food are eligible for the meals.

While Tower Hamlets is one of the most culturally vibrant and diverse areas of London, with a proud history of tolerance and mutual respect, deprivation and poverty is present in the area. 48.7 per cent of children in Tower Hamlets are in relative or absolute low-income families according to 2018-19 figures, which is the highest rate in London and well above average for Great Britain.

2019 data from the Department for Education reveals that over 15,000 children in the borough are known to be eligible and claiming for free schools meals, the highest proportion in London, and 72 per cent of children in the Borough are from a family that receives either child tax credit or tax credit. In 2018, 11.8 per cent of employees in Tower Hamlets earnt below the London Living Wage of £10.20 per hour.

Sheila Gupta, Vice-Principal for People, Culture and Inclusion, said: “Queen Mary University of London is proud to support children and families in Tower Hamlets by helping to fill the gap for children at risk of going hungry in our borough over the half-term holiday. Throughout our history, we have fostered social justice and improved lives through education, research and by being an active part of our local communities.

“I am very proud of the support our Catering Team is providing for our neighbours during this half-term week and I would like to express my thanks for their fantastic hard work.”

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Pete Biggs
International Communications Manager
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