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Food Assistance

Support with Food - 020 7364 3030

Support With Food leaflet

Healthy Start Vouchers can be spent on food and milk and can be used in all major supermarket, local shops and even market stalls in Tower Hamlets.

Health Start Applications NO LONGER require a medical professional signature.
​For more information on Healthy Start vitamins/vouchers or info on opening hours of other Children’s Centres, call 020 7364 5277. ​

The Scheme is being increased from £3.10 to £4.25 from April 2021, to other families:

  • £8.50 per week for each baby aged up to 12 months
  • £4.25 per week for each child under four
  • £4.25 per week if you are pregnant

Depending on your family size, you could benefit from £17.00 a week if you are pregnant, have a baby and a child under four, gaining up to £900 a year! Find out if you are eligible for the Healthy Start vouchers. 

How to apply for Healthy Start

  • You will need to fill in an application form
  • Visiting a Children’s Centre or calling your GP surgery
  • Calling the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823, who will help to complete this online.
  • Speaking to your midwife or health visitor
  • Your school may be providing pupils with a food bag during the period they are self-isolating.  Some schools will be offering food bags to pupils, which will provide food for lunches over the two-week self- isolation period.  Schools will be responsible for distributing these.  So if you are self-isolating and need help and assistance then please contact your school to find out more information

Food Bank ​

Foodbanks - Drop-in/Open Access

  • Bethnal Green Food Bank - St Matthew's Church, St Matthew's Row, London, E2 6DT; 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 every day 10am-1pm. 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
  • St Luke's Food Bank, Alpha Grove, London, E14 8LH.  Drop-in Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am - 12pm. For more information you can call 07810 748 534 or email

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 
  • Royal Foundation St Katherine's, 2 Butcher Row, Limehouse, London, E14 8DS.  Supporting a limited number of families.  For more information email the food bank

​​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.