Newsflash: Croydon community comes together to offer #FreeSchoolMeals support

After this week’s news that the government will not be offering free school meals support to cover the holidays, we think Nigella Lawson has summed the situation up the best with this line:

“It shouldn’t have to be this way, but it is more important to feed a hungry child than argue about how it’s done”.

In what is an economically difficult time for everyone, it’s been incredible to see so many Croydon businesses and organisations rally together to offer support to parents struggling to feed their children at this time.

Below is a list of places who are offering help. Let us know (via social media or email) if you hear of any others, and we’ll be sure to include.

Ayat Lounge
From Mon 26th to Sat 31st October, Ayat Lounge, a Lebanese Mediterranean restaurant in Croydon’s South End, will be giving children meals for free between 1pm and 3pm.
For more info about Ayat Lounge, CLICK HERE

Bella’s Tea Store
Specialising in picnic style boxes (including Grazing, Afternoon Tea and Vegan boxes), Bella’s Tea Store in Coulsdon has been running a coffee ‘Pay It Forward’ scheme since opening. They have extended this so people can now buy a children’s lunch box (and Bella’s will then include a free adult lunch with it).
For more info about Bella’s Tea Store, CLICK HERE

Bombaylicious
This Indian take away which has only been open for 6 months, is also stepping in to offer support. They’ll be offering free meals of rice and curry to children who normally receive free school meals. To ensure socially distanced pick ups, parents are advised to place orders for collection between 4pm and 6pm on Tuesday to Friday.
For more info about Bombaylicious, CLICK HERE

Boxpark Croydon
Home to a huge variety of innovative street food traders, Boxpark will be providing 200 free meals to school children over half term.
For more info about Boxpark Croydon, CLICK HERE

Brown and Green Cafe
During half term, this group of brunch cafes (including their Crystal Palace branch) are offering one free kids meal with every adult meal purchased (but if your child receives free school meals, no purchase will be required).
For more info on Brown and Green Cafes, CLICK HERE

Communitea
This independent cafe on a social mission is serving nutritious hot meals to children this week. If you want to help them, you can donate via this link: www.communitea.co.uk/donate.
For more info on Communitea, CLICK HERE

Coughlans Bakery
This artisan bakery with a huge vegan range is selling post it notes for £5. People buying the post its then leave them on the shop windows for families in need to collect. The person who redeems the post it is then given a free family meal (and Couglans will also gift them a free plant based sausage roll).
For more info on Coughlans, CLICK HERE

Crushed Bean
Having initiated this offer in the Summer holidays, Pam and the team are continuing to serve up free hot breakfasts to children every weekday until 11am during school holidays.
For more info on Crushed Bean, CLICK HERE

Curry on Naanstop
The Mumbai Street Food experts (who live in Croydon!) are stepping in to feed hungry children with their takeaways this half term. Contact Swati via direct message for details of how to arrange.
For more info on Curry on Naanstop, CLICK HERE

Dirty Crunch
Based out of the Royal Standard Pub, the sisters who own Dirty Crunch are offering free re-heatable school meals to anyone who needs them during half term and the festive season (including weekends). Simply let them know in advance (by telling them via email or direct message on social media your name and number of children you’re supporting).
For more info about Dirty Crunch, CLICK HERE

Karis with Love
Karis Anderson, who specialises in vegan food, is delivering free meals to Croydon/Beckenham based families in need during half term. Send her an email or DM on socials for plant based, nutritious meals.
For more info about Karis with Love, CLICK HERE

Matthew’s Yard
From their new West Croydon premises, owners Saif and Leonie are offering up to 250 free meals (eat in or take away) for local children who need them as well as 50% discount for parents or child carers for their own food if they eat in.
Eat In: Kid’s burger and fries with a glass of apple or orange juice
Eat In or Take Away: Cheese and tomato sandwich, banana and packet of crisps with a glass of apple or orange juice
For more info about Matthew’s Yard, CLICK HERE

Light Bar Caffe
This cafe come cocktail bar in Coulsdon is serving free meals to ALL children from Tuesday to Sunday during half term.
For more info about Light Bar Cafe, CLICK HERE

South Norwood Community Kitchen
Having started in 2016, the team use the unloved food to bring the community together in a variety of ways including events and food delivery parcels. They take food donations from supermarkets, shops and restaurants and create delicious meals for people across Croydon including families in need during the school holidays.
For more info about South Norwood Community Kitchen, CLICK HERE

Spanish Town
Based out of the Dog and Bull pub on Surrey Street, Chef Arron and the team will be offering free meals for kids during the holidays. Full details to be announced next week.
For more info about Spanish Town, CLICK HERE

Spice Village
The award winning British Pakistani restaurant group (with a branch in Croydon) is offering free meals to all children who usually receive free school meals. Simply email them on cs@spicevillage.co.uk or call 020 8680 8844 to claim and collect your free meal.
For more info on Spice Village, CLICK HERE

The Little Coffee Shop
Based on Sanderstead Road, The Little Coffee Shop is offering free school lunches to those who need them during the half term holidays. Simply text them on 07835024690, direct message them on socials or pop in after 11am on Tues to Saturday when there will be a few out for collection).
For more info about The Little Coffee Shop, CLICK HERE

Yoke Easy
This new brunch spot on Surrey Street Market is offering to pay for five famillies weekly food shop during half term. If you have children of school age and are worried about how you’ll feed them this week, DM them.
For more info about Yoke Easy, CLICK HERE

Yumn Brasserie
During half term, this relaxed fine dining restaurant is offering free brunch and dinner for children when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more info about Yumn Brasserie, CLICK HERE

Also a shout out to:

Laborjee
Grace is a Croydon based baker who is making a big batch of Banana Loaf cakes to deliver to old and vulnerable people in the local area over the coming months. Get in touch with her to nominate someone to give a loaf to.
For more info on Laborjee, CLICK HERE

Your Croydon
Croydon Council have become one of 28 London boroughs defying the government by arranging for those children who normally receive free school meals to continue to be fed over the half-term holiday. No official statement has been made yet but a post on their Twitter feed on 24 October said: “If your family usually receives free school meals and you’re struggling during half-term, you can apply to our schools team for supermarket vouchers. Contact educationenquiries@croydon.gov.uk“.

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