Free school meals during holidays are to be funded by the local authority to the end of the year.

Havering Council leader Damian White announced the funding as part of a £1.35m package to support vulnerable people in the borough at a council meeting on March 2.

The council will spend £1million to pay for holiday food support for the 8,000 eligible recipients in Havering, after central government funding for the programme ends.

“It is the wrong time for us not to provide enhanced support for those families,” Cllr White told the Recorder.

They will also be adding £250,000 to the Havering Helps fund, which provides £100-150 grants to help families deal with the cost-of-living crisis – 7,500 will be eligible to apply.

Additional schemes will be funded as part of the package, including £30,000 to roll out a community kitchen scheme currently in place in Harold Wood across two further locations in Romford and in the south of the borough.