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Money, Food and Housing

Money Matters

Are you struggling financially?  The links below provides information on where to get help.

Support with Food - 020 7364 3030

Support With Food leaflet

Healthy Start 

Healthy start helps families claiming certain benefits to buy healthy food and milk from the 10th week of pregnancy until the child's 4th birthday. If you are under 18 and pregnant, you are automatically eligible, regardless of your benefit status.

You are sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in supermarkets and other grocery stores to buy healthy food, milk or first infant formula. The card is topped up every 4 weeks.

Vitamins - Local Offer

In Tower Hamlets, all children under the age of 4 and all pregnant and breastfeeding people and up to 1 year post-natal are eligible for free Healthy Start vitamins. These can be collected from all Children and Family Centres. You must bring your Healthy Start card if you have one or when you get one. Use your location to find your nearest one.

You can apply for Healthy Start Card:

Online by visiting the NHS Healthy Start website if you are:

  • On Universal Credit and Household's monthly 'take home pay' is £408 from employment
  • Receiving Child Tax Credit and household annual income is less than £16,190.
  • Receiving Child Tax Credit and children are under the age of 4

Over the phone by calling 0300 330 7010 or by emailing [email protected] if you are:

  • Pregnant and under 18 (not on benefits)
  • Receiving Child Tax Credit and have children over the age of 4
  • Receiving Income Related Employment & Support Allowance
  • Receiving Income-based Jobseeker's allowance
  • Receiving Pension Credit (including Child Addition)
  • Receiving Working Tax Credit run-on

Find out more at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/healthystart or speak to your local Children and Families Centre.

Food Bank ​

Foodbanks - Drop-in/Open Access 

  • Bethnal Green Food Bank -Raine's Foundation School Approach Road, London, E2 9LY; drop in's take place on Wednesdays 2-7pm. For more information you can call 020 7739 7586 or email
  • Bow Food Bank - Bromley by Bow Centre, St Leonards Street, Bromley by Bow, London, E3 3BT (Entrance through the park on Bruce Road or St Leonards Street); Monday drop in between 8:30am - 12:30pm. For more information you can call 07934 734603 or email
  • Neighbours in Poplar - St Matthias Community Centre, 113 Poplar High Street, Poplar, London, E14 0AE. Open Thursdays 10:30am-12pm. Walk-in service is available although you should call in advance for requests of support 020 7987 0257
  • Osmani Centre - 58 Underwood Road, London, E1 5AW. Drop-in Wednesday 12-3pm. For more information you can call 020 7247 8080 or email
  • Salvation Army, Kerbey Street, E14 6AJ.  Drop-in Thursdays 10.30am-12.30pm. For more Information contact David on 020 7987 9405

Area Specific​ Foodbanks

  • Christ Church, Isle of Dogs, 151 Manchester Road, Cubitt Town, London, E14 3DR. Distributing food to unlnerable individuals in the Isle of Dogs Via local volunteers. For more information call FR Tom Pyke on 020 3488 4594
  • Dorset Community Association, Diss Street, London, E2 7QX (for residents of Dorset Estate and Columbia Road area).  Drop - in Thursday 2-4pm. For more information call Nazrul on 07984 966 565
  • Ensign Youth Club, Wellclose Square (off the Highway), London, E1 8HY.  Collection Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am - 1pm. For residents of St Katherines area, please contact Shafee on 07949 573 730 or 020 7702 3340
  • Good Shepherd Mission, 17 Three Colts Lane, Bethnal Green, E2 6JL. For individuals and families near Weavers Field in Bethnal Green/Whitechapel on Mondayss 12-2pm
    For more information contact Darren Prince or Emily Bennett 
  • Jesuit Refugee Service-  Supports destitute Asylum Seekers who have had the initial claim for Asylum refused and are not entitled to any statutory support. Contact Rhiannon on 020 7488 7310 or email 
  • Limehouse Project Food Hub, Burdett Road, Unit 419 (Arch), London, E3 4AA.  Saturdays choose from 11am - 2pm and deliveries from 11am - 5pm. For more information contact Momina Begum on 07946 391 570  or email 

​​Hot Meals - Walk In or Delivery

  • Whitechapel Mission 212 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BJ - Serving Breakfast Monday - Sunday 6 -11am. 
  • St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 2PA 'Tuesday Night Bites' - Hot meals provided every Tuesday 6-7pm. 
  • Methodist Church Tower Hamlets, 1 Merchant Street, London, E3 4LY.  Food Cycle runs a takeaway meal service every Friday 7-8pm. 

Community

The Food Store is a new food support service based on a Food Pantry Model, which is a membership-based service accessed only through referrals.

This is a membership subsidised scheme that members pay to use, unlike food banks offering food free hand outs.  Membership costs either £3.50 per week or £10 per month.  In return members will get £30 worth of food plus available fruit and vegetables on top of that.  Members will also have greater choice of food banks.

Members will be required to sign terms and conditions of use of the service and agree to access available support services such as welfare benefits advice and employment support to deal with the underlying issues, e.g. debt, housing, income maximisation, membership will be reviewed quarterly to check progress and confirm member's continunied engagement with services.   You must consent to your information being shared at the point of referral with organisations providing support services as relevant to their need, including local welfare advice, relevant council teams and employments support service providers amongst others. You can email Masoom Ahmed for more information.  

  • Fieldgate Mansions Community Centre, 15 Romford Street, London, E1 1HX.  Thursdays 10am  - 12pm.  Family Action has launched Food on our doorstep clubs in Tower Hamlets to provide families with good-quality food at a low cost, while also reducing food waste. It costs just £1 a year for your family to become a member. Once you’ve joined, you can purchase a bag of tasty food items every week worth approx.£15 for just £3.50! To become a member, you must live or work within 15 minutes of the club.  For more information email Family Action
  • Manorfield Primary School are running a weekly food pantry offering subsidised food to families.  If your child attends Manorfield Primary School and would like to access the Food Pantry, contact the school main reception, or email
  • Cyprus Street Estate, Cyprus Street, London, E2 0NW.  Wednesdays 2-4pm. To become a member, you must live or work within 15 minutes of the club. For more information contact Laura Muchugh for more information
  • Women's Inclusive Team, Mayfield House, 202a Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9LJ.  Tuesday's between 12am -3pm.  All new members must fill in an eligibility form.  Also weekly food parcels and hot meals for pick-up or delivery.  Contact Filsan Essa on 07708 379 575 or email

Free School Meals 

How do I know if I am eligible for Free School Meals?

Your child may be eligible to get Free School Meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 per year)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on-paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1st April 2018 your houshold income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you received)

In addition to the information above you can find out more information at Free School Meal National Voucher Scheme.

If you have received an eCode Voucher and the website is telling you you have entered an incorrect cove please contact Edenred Direct on 0333 400 5932 or email.

If you need more information or advice regarding Free School Meals you can contact the Family Information Service on
020 7364 6495 or email.

Housing Support

Do you need housing support and advice?  
There is a range of free confidential and independent advice on housing rights and responsibilities.  The information below includes details of Local Advice Agencies, that may be able to assist.  They all currently employ specialist housing advisors and solicitors.

Housing

Would you like more information about how to join the housing register? Please visit the Tower Hamlets Website - Housing Register and click on 'apply to join the housing register'.

You can also contact The Lettings Team on 020 7364 2826 and request a medical priority form.  You will be asked to provide a copy of your child's diagnosis report.  Alternatively, you can email them.

General Advice and Legal

Island Advice Centre

You can book an appointment to see a housing advisor, ring the telephone advice line or come to a drop-in advice session on Friday between 10am-12 noon. 

Address: Island House, Roserton Street, E14 3PG 
Tel: 020 7987 9379 
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.island-advice.org.uk

Tower Hamlets Law Centre

You can book an appointment to see a housing advisor or drop-in evening advice sessions on alternate Monday evenings 6.30pm to 8pm. 

Address: St Anne Street, Unit 1, off 789 Commercial Road, E14 7HG
Tel: 020 7538 4909
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.thlc.co.uk 

Stifford Centre

You can book an appointment to see a housing advisor.
Address: 2- 6 Cressy Place, E1 3JG
Tel: 020 7790 3632 
Website: www.stifford.org.uk 

Legal Advice Centre 

Come to a drop-in session. 
Address: University House, 104 Roman Road, E2 ORN
Tel: 020 8980 2205 
Website: www.legaladvicecentre.org.uk

Tower Hamlets Citizens Advice Bureau 

Address: 32 Greatorex Street, E1 5NP
Tel: 020 7247 1050 Advice Line: 0344 826 9699 (Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm) 
Email: [email protected] 

Drop-in sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30am, operated on a first-come, first served basis.  Attend one of these sessions to be assessed for a referral by appointment to the Whitechapel Legal Advice Clinic, which is held every Tuesday evening at 6pm (by appointment only).  Alternatively, the service can also be accessed via our telephone advice line. 

Toynbee Hall 

Attend office, phone or email Monday–Friday 10am–4pm, to complete an Initial Assessment to access advice services. 

Address: The Community Centre, 52 Old Castle Street, London, E1 7AJ 
Tel: 020 7392 2953 
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.toynbeehall.org.uk