Free hot meals for families and individuals will be available from hubs across Hertsmere from Monday (25 July) thanks to a community-driven initiative.
Anyone who wants a meal for themselves and their family over the summer, whether or not they are currently claiming benefits or free school meals, will be able to collect from hubs based in Borehamwood, Potters Bar and Bushey every week day until Friday 2 September, excluding the August bank holiday.
This initiative has been made possible with funding from GMSP Foundation and The Childhood Trust, with support from the Akshaya Patra Foundation and is being organised via the Hertsmere Food Poverty Alliance in partnership with InspireAll. Set up by us, the Food Poverty Alliance is a subgroup of the Hertsmere Health and Wellbeing Board committed to working with organisations across Hertsmere to help tackle food poverty in the borough.
Council staff will be volunteering at the hubs, alongside volunteers from Communities 1st and St. Michaels Church.
Councillor Meenal Sachdev, Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure, Health and Wellbeing, said: “With a rise in food poverty seen across the borough, alongside a national increased pressure on household budgets, ensuring our communities are able to get food on the table is of the utmost importance.
“We know that household budgets are stretched over the summer period, and it is hoped that by providing residents with a free, hot, nutritionally balanced meal, we will be able to ease this pressure.
“Hertsmere’s Food Poverty Alliance is committed to working in partnership with a range of local organisations to reduce food insecurity in the borough.”
The meals will be hot, vegetarian and high on nutrition and prepared by chefs working for The Akshaya Patra Foundation. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bengaluru, India, which strives to eliminate classroom hunger.
Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, the CEO and Trustree of TAPF, said: “It is extremely important not to just solve for hunger but also for nutrition as these children are Britain’s future. We are very proud to be involved with the project and work closely with GMSP and Hertsmere Borough Council.”
GMSP, who is funding the meals is a family foundation set up by Ramesh and Pratibha Sachdev that partners with grassroots organisations working in communities to support marginalised people.
Funding was matched by The Childhood Trust, London’s child poverty charity, dedicated to alleviating the impact of poverty on children and young people living in the capital.
Whilst there is no limit to the number of meals that can be collected, residents are encouraged to only take what they can eat for the day’s lunchtime period. There is a limited supply per day.
The hubs will operate on weekdays between 12pm-1pm at:
Bushey Community Centre (25 – 29 July)
High Street, Bushey WD23 1TT
St. Michaels Church,
Brook Road, Borehamwood WD6 5EQ
Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur,
London Spiritual Centre, Falconer Road, Bushey WD23 3AD
The Clayton Centre
32 Barnet Road, Potters Bar EN6 2QU
BECC Family Centre
Shakespeare Drive, Borehamwood, WD6 2FD
For information on all financial support available to residents, visit All Financial Support - Hertsmere Borough Council
Posted on Friday 22nd July 2022