TOWER HAMLETS LOCAL FOOD DIGEST – RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Download a PDF versionHERE UPDATED 23/6/20

FOOD AID

FOOD BANKS

Drop-in/Open access:

Bethnal Green Food Bank, St Matthew’s Church, St Matthew’s Row, London E2 6DT. 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, 10am-12pm rector@st-matthews.co.uk, 0207 739 7586

Bow Food Bank at the Bromley-by-Bow Centre, St Leonard’s Street, E3 3BT. Entrance through the park on Bruce Road or St.Leonards Street. Every Monday from 9.30-12.30

Neighbours in Poplar, St Matthias Community Centre, 113 Poplar High St, Poplar, London, E14 0AE. Open every day 10am-1pm. Walk-in service, though helpful if people call with requests for support: 020 7987 0257.

Salvation Army, Kerbey Street, E14 6AJ. Drop-in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10.30-11.30. Contact David 020 7987 9405.

Toynbee Hall, Spitalfields, London E1 6LS is hosting Solidarity Britannia, a food bank for people with no recourse to public funds.

St Dunstan’s Food Bank, Stepney High St, London E1 0NR is supporting 40 families and individuals. It’s open for donations and to collect food Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. It’s closed Sunday and Monday.

St Luke’s Food Bank, Alpha Grove, London E14 8LH. Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10-12pm. Can also arrange deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays. 02075389862 info@stlukesmillwall.org

Linc Centre, 70 Fern St, London E3 3PR, Wednesdays 2pm to 4pm. Ikran or Safia (Women’s Inclusive Team) 020 7790 2650.

Area-specific:

Christ Church Isle of Dogs, 151 Manchester Rd, Cubitt Town, London E14 3DR. At capacity. Requests for help in Isle of Dogs should be routed via 02034884594.

Dorset Community Association, Diss Street, London E2 7QX (for residents of Dorset Estate and Columbia Road area). Call Nazrul 07984 966565 to order a food bag. Bags can be collected or delivered on Thursday/Friday afternoons.

Ensign Youth Club

Royal Foundation St Katherine’s, 2 Butcher Row, Limehouse, London E14 8DS. At capacity. Requests for help in Isle of Dogs should be routed via 02034884594.

 

SCHOOL FOOD

Free School Meals

Children eligible for Free School Meals are able to access either a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets, M&S and McColl’s convenience stores, or a weekly food bag to eligible parents, guardians or carers.

The eligibility criteria for Free School Meals has been expanded nationally and now covers some families with no recourse to public funds. is available on the council’s website.

Voucher scheme

There is more info on how to obtain and spend the vouchers on the council’s website.

Weekly food bags

Eligible children from 17 schools in Tower Hamlets are entitled to weekly food bags rather than vouchers:

  • Alice Model Nursery
  • Blue Gates Field – Infant
  • Blue Gates Field – Junior
  • Bygrove
  • Cherry Trees Special
  • Children’s House Nursery School
  • Columbia Primary School
  • Columbia Market Nursery School
  • Elizabeth Selby
  • Guardian Angels Catholic Primary
  • Mayflower
  • Phoenix
  • Shapla
  • St Agnes
  • St Anne’s Catholic Primary School
  • Stebon
  • Woolmore Primary School

Food bags for children from households receiving benefits.

A large number of schools will be offering food bags to children living in households in receipt of benefits. The council has a list of these schools and the food that is provided. 

Some schools are providing/preparing their own emergency response, both for their pupils and families, and the wider community:

Mulberry School for Girls is fundraising to prepare and deliver packs of food and personal care products to support its vulnerable families. Donate here

Manorfield Primary is fundraising for its own emergency response to support families who need it most. The school intends to distribute food and other essentials (including materials to support learning) from Monday 30th March. Donate here

Old Ford Primary School will be providing free school meals for all of their pupils in Reception – Year 4. All of the pupils will be able to collect their free school meal from the main entrance from 12 to 1.30 each day. They have also arranged to open the School with a skeleton staff for children who are vulnerable and children of key workers.

Clara Grant School is providing food for their vulnerable pupils and the key workers during the coming weeks.

HEALTHY START VOUCHERS

Many pregnant women and parents are entitled to Healthy Start vouchers every week. These can be spent on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins. People can check if they are eligible.

Healthy Start applications no longer require a medical professional signature. 

Applicants can fill in the online application form and print it, or collect a printed form from a Children’s Centre. If collecting, the form will also include a Freepost envelope.

The following Children’s Centre is open every day:
Meath Gardens Children’s Centre, 1 Smart St, Bethnal Green, London E2 0SN

For more information on Healthy Start vitamins/vouchers or info on opening hours of other Children’s Centres, call 020 7364 5277.

The national Healthy Start Team are assisting parents who do not have access to printers. Parents wanting assistance should contact the Team using the online form. The team will print the form & post it to them to sign & then return in a Freepost envelope for their application to be processed.

 

ASKING FOR HELP 

The council has set up a phoneline to support extremely vulnerable residents, their families or their carers. People should use the line to let the council know of any urgent requirements, such as food supplies or medication.

Number: 020 7364 3030.

Operating hours: Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm; Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 10am – 4pm.

If you are a Tower Hamlets resident in self-isolation and require support, please complete this questionnaire so that LB Tower Hamlets  can direct you to the most appropriate form of support. The information you input will determine the advice you receive.

Tower Hamlets Community Advice Network (TCAN) has a list of specialist emergency advice providers on their website.

Register someone (or yourself) as extremely vulnerable to the Government for the coronavirus shielding  support scheme. People are eligible if they have a medical condition that makes them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, they’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food. You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

BUYING FOOD

Support your local businesses! The government has advised that people who are not self-isolating can visit shops (as infrequently as possible) for essential items such as food and medicine. Most shops selling essentials are still open and advising customers on social distancing. Many are also offering contactless payment and delivery services.

BUYING FOOD FOR OTHERS

Major supermarkets including Asda, M&S, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s have launched a dedicated volunteer shopping card, which allows self-isolating shoppers to buy a voucher online to give to a volunteer to use on their behalf in store.

 

COLLECTION AND DELIVERY (SHOPS)

Herbert’s Fruit and Veg Stall, 112 Roman Rd, Globe Town, London E2 0RN

Marc Herbert is delivering grocery shop boxes to local postcodes from 2pm onwards each day. Get in touch via a message on Instagram to place orders. His stall is also open for those who need

 to go out for essentials.

Iceland is open from 9 to 11am every Wednesday exclusively for the elderly and vulnerable people in the community.

Leila’s Shop, Calvert Avenue, E2.

Leila’s Shop is taking orders between 10am and 12pm and asking people to collect after 1pm. Leila’s shop is also doing free delivery for those vulnerable and isolating in Weavers Ward. Leila is offering a free treat to anyone self-isolating and alone. Leila can be reached at 020 772 99789 

Love Shack, Cambridge Heath Road, E2

Plastic-free vegan restaurant delivers fruit, vegetables and other necessities in E2. 

Steve Hatt Fishmonger, N1

Offering free delivery in the Weavers Ward area. Tony, one of the owners, will take orders and process card payment over the phone. Tony can be reached at 0207 226 3963.

Leila’s Shop, Calvert Avenue, E2.

Leila’s Shop is taking orders between 10am and 12pm and asking people to collect after 1pm. Leila’s shop is also doing free delivery for those vulnerable and isolating in Weavers Ward. Leila is offering a free treat to anyone self-isolating and alone. Leila can be reached at 020 772 99789

Love Shack, Cambridge Heath Road

Plastic-free vegan restaurant delivers fruit, vegetables and other necessities in E2.

Simply Fresh, 201-203 Roman Road E2 0QY

Open from 7am – 11pm. They are also offering a delivery service for the elderly and vulnerable that cannot leave their homes. Get in touch via phone 020 8981 2996 or by emailing hello@simplyfreshe2.com

Barge East, River Lea, Sweetwater Mooring, E9 5EN

Selling fresh meat or fruit and veg boxes, including items such as tofu and buckwheat, which can be collected between 12-5pm every Wednesday, or they can be delivered to your home for a small fee. NHS workers and vulnerable people won’t have to pay for delivery.

Tower Green Hamlets 

Delivers weekly fruit and vegetable boxes for East London residents. The scheme is operated from Stepney City Farm, and the scheme has expanded to serve more isolated and vulnerable people.

They are fundraising to increase the scheme even further – details and donate.

Chef’s Choice

Restaurant now offering delivery of fresh vegetables, fruits and essentials. 

Morrison’s

Selling food boxes (vegetarian and meat options) online for £35. The boxes should feed two people for a week.

Karma

App offering delivery of surplus food from restaurants, cafes and grocery stores at discounted price.

List of essential good providers

Crowdsourced list of shops and suppliers offering a delivery service in London. (Not all necessarily deliver to Tower Hamlets.) 

COLLECTIONS AND DELIVERY (restaurants)

Al-Amin Restaurant, Cambridge Heath Road

Al-Amin is open for takeaway or delivery. Offering a 50% discount to those working in the NHS and over 60. Tel: 02077297415

A Portuguese Love Affair, Columbia Road

Deliveries on Thursday and takeaway orders.

Viet Grill, Kingsland Road

Delivery and takeaway of Vietnamese food.

Campania, Ezra Street

Italian food open for takeaway. Tel: 020 7613 0015

Laxeiro, Columbia Road

Spanish food open for takeaway. Tel: 020 7729 1147

The Nelson’s Head, Horatio Street

British food open for takeaway. Tel: 020 7729 5595

Mama Mae’s, 452 Roman Rd E3 5LU

Cake shop. Email eat@mamamaescupcakes.com to place your order.

Zealand Café, 391 Roman Rd, London E3 5QS.

Please message them on their Instagram for menus and to place orders. They also deliver through Deliveroo and UberEats

Cafe Quarantacinque, 45 Roman Road, E2 0HU

Italian deli open for delivery or collection. Offering tray bakes designed to feed five or more people. Place orders by messaging them 24 hours beforehand.

COLLECTION AND DELIVERY (LARGER SHOPS)

Sainsbury’s, 1 Cambridge Heath Road, E1 5SD 0207 247 2604. Priority access to delivery slots given to customers who are shielding or in isolation. Dedicated in-store shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable between 8am-9am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Available as click and collect, home delivery and volunteer pick up. If you are a vulnerable customer, you can book a food delivery by calling 0800 328 1700.

Waitrose ,41 Thomas More Street, St Katherine’s Docks E1W 1YY 0207 702 1640. Available as click and collect, home delivery and volunteer pick up.

Nisa ,58A Commercial Road E1 1LP. Home delivery available through online food delivery company Deliveroo.

Nisa ,599-601 Commercial Road, Stepney E1 0HJ. Home delivery available through online food delivery company Deliveroo.

Tesco Superstore, Hancock Road, Bow E3 3DA. 0345 677 9085. Vulnerable customers who are isolating or shielding can get priority access to delivery by calling. Available as click and collect, home delivery and volunteer pick up.

Asda Superstore ,151 East Ferry Road, Isle of Dogs E14 3BT. 0207 987 2614. Available as click and collect, home delivery and volunteer pick up. Click and collects slots re available on a first come, first serve basis and can be ordered from anywhere. Vulnerable customers who are isolating or shielding can get priority access to home delivery slots. Available for residents living in E14 and E1W postcodes.

Waitrose ,16-19 Canada Square, Canary Wharf E14 5EW. 0207 719 0300. Available as click and collect, home delivery and volunteer pick up.

Co-op ,57-73 Chrisp Street, Poplar, E14 6LP. 0207 538 5263. Home delivery available through online food delivery company Deliveroo.

Nisa ,1 Newport Road, E14 2ED. Home delivery available through online food delivery company Deliveroo.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

COMMUNITY HUBS

We are aware of three organisations offering support services, including picking up shopping/ medication; a friendly phone call; weekly activity pack with word searches, crosswords, and more!; and cooking and delivering a meal. These are:

Neighbours in Poplar – contact 020 7987 0257 nip65@msn.com)

St Hilda’s East referral only – contact Tower Hamlets Homes Support Line for more info 020 7364 5015

Darul Ummah Hub, 56 Bigland St, Shadwell E1 2ND – mainly for Tower Hamlets Homes residents  but trying to accommodate other residents. They are seeking donations – info here.

MUTUAL AID FACEBOOK GROUPS

Covid-19 Mutual Aid Bow (E3): https://www.facebook.com/groups/643367883166920

Royal Docks COVID-19 Mutual Aid: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalVictoriaDocksCovid19

Tower Hamlets Covid19 Community Support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2740546326063053/

There is a searchable list of ward/neighbourhood/estate/street level Facebook/What’s App groups.

OFFERS OF SUPPORT

Toyhouse, a charity on St Paul’s Way is posting ideas and resources to support families onto their Facebook page, especially those with children under 5.  They can also be contacted by parents to be or those with young children who feel isolated or in need of support. 

Limehouse Aid Offers food and errand runs for anyone vulnerable and/or self-isolating. Phone/text 020 3322 7452

limehouseaid@gmail.com

Isle of dogs COVID 19 Support group offering food and errand runs for anyone vulnerable and/or self – isolating  Phone 020 3488 4594

Islandgardens.covid19@gmail.com

Women’s Inclusive Team are helping vulnerable residents with shopping. Contact them on 020 7790 2650

HOW TO HELP

DONATE TO YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK

First Love Foundation needs additional funds to purchase and distribute fruit, vegetables and tinned food to the most vulnerable and deprived across the borough. Donate here

Bow Food Bank needs funds to purchase additional food to meet growing demand caused by COVID-19. Donate here

Bow Food Banks is also accepting donations of food on Sundays 12:30 – 3:00 pm and Mondays 9:00 – 12:30 pm. See their list of popular items and keep checking their website for updates.  

VOLUNTEER

Tower Hamlets Volunteer Centre has a variety of roles to support the local community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Carers needed – Tower Hamlets Council is also looking to employ carers during COVID-19. No experience is necessary. Email CareWorkerRecruitment@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 2280.

St. Paul’s Old Ford Church – The closing of schools present extra challenges for many families. St. Paul Old Ford church is handing out free school meals for those in our area and are looking for additional volunteers. They are also in touch with other community leaders who are likely to be organising additional events. Apply to be a volunteer.

Poplar HARCA – with Women’s Inclusive Team, are running a food delivery and community assistance service and are looking for volunteers.

SHARE INFORMATION 

Sustain is collating information about how food producers and suppliers are diversifying their models in the UK to cope with changing food supply chains. 

THCVS is working as part of the Council’s Covid-19 co-ordinating bodies to secure funding and other support to maintain services, and provide the types of support needed by vulnerable residents. Alongside funding, this could include access to IT resources, support for your employees and volunteers, or help with redesigning your activities. They request that you share your needs via this survey. If you would rather go through over the phone, email the CVS  or consult their website.

COVID-19 RESPONSE FUNDING (for charities and service-providers)

London Funders has coordinated a joint funding pot, the London Community Response Fund. Organisations can bid for up to £5K for immediate/urgent projects. A further round of larger grants will be available to bid for later in April.

East End Community Fund has launched an East End Emergency Appeal, aligned with the National Emergencies Trust (NET) Coronavirus Appeal, to increase the funding available to support immediate and emergency responses to the pandemic. Phase 1 grants are up to £5K for immediate relief activities, such as:

  • Emergency support for vulnerable older people in their homes, providing food, medicine and tele-befriending
  • Emergency support for residents particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus e.g. those with pre-existing medical conditions, homeless residents, refugees and asylum seekers, vulnerable children and young people
  • Collaborative and coordinated community responses to meeting immediate needs e.g. food, shelter, washing, clothing etc.

Grants Online has a full list of Coronavirus response grants

6 thoughts on “TOWER HAMLETS LOCAL FOOD DIGEST – RESPONSE TO COVID-19

  1. Avatar
    Rouma says:

    Hi i contacted my kids primary school canon barnett regarding vouchers i have been isolating 5 week now as one of my son has asthma n youngest a baby can someone advise as im missing out on few weeks of vouchers

    • Avatar
      beth says:

      Hello, sorry to hear about this – we sent you an email to see if we can put you in touch with the right people 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Raz says:

    I come under the extremely vulnerable and recieved a letter from my gp. I dont really want to rely on donated food from food banks as I’m sure there are those out there that are worse off than myself financially and could do with the extra help. Is there anyway of getting priority deliveries from the super markets being one of the higher at risk. That way I’m not putting pressure on the charities that are available.

  3. Avatar
    Tom Pyke says:

    Hello all at WEN,
    Thank you for the information that you have published. Can I add to the list of foodbank is that Christ Church Isle of Dogs is acting as a food distribution hub for the foreseeable future distributing fresh food and some durable foods to local groups and to vulnerable individuals in the Isle of Dogs via local volunteers. Requests for help in Isle of Dogs should be routed via 02034884594

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *