Free hot meals for families and individuals are available from hubs across Hertsmere 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 weekday until September 2.

The meals will be hot, vegetarian and high on nutrition and prepared by chefs working for The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organisation which strives to eliminate classroom hunger.

This initiative has been made possible with funding from GMSP Foundation and The Childhood Trust, with support from the foundation.

It has been organised via Hertsmere Borough Council’s Hertsmere Food Poverty Alliance, which aims to tackle food poverty in the borough.

Council staff will be volunteering at the hubs, alongside volunteers from Communities 1st and St. Michaels Church.

Meenal Sachdev, who is responsible for community, 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.”

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 began operating on weekdays between 12pm-1pm from July 25 lasting until September 2, excluding the August bank holiday.

The hubs are based at:

  • St Michaels Church, Brook Road, Borehamwood, WD23 1TT
  • BECC Family Centre, Shakespeare Drive, Borehamwood, WD6 2FD
  • Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, London Spiritual Centre, Falconer Road, Bushey WD23 3AD
  •  The Clayton Centre, 32 Barnet Road, Potters Bar EN6 2QU