Published Tuesday, 27th October 2020

From today, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council is offering free meals to all children and young adults up to 19 years old this half term at The Harlequin Theatre in Redhill.

Kids eat free at The Harlequin Cafe this half termThe ‘Kids Eat Free For Half Term’ initiative invites families to visit the Harlequin's newly refurbished café to enjoy nutritious and tasty meals.

Providing support for families in need has always been a priority for Reigate & Banstead Borough Council.  This latest half term initiative is part of much wider existing and longer-term work the council is doing to help tackle food poverty in the borough.

Food Clubs

Reigate & Banstead is setting up three local Food Clubs – in Woodhatch, Horley and Merstham – ahead of Christmas, using FareShare’s community food membership scheme. Food clubs are a more sustainable solution to providing families on limited budgets access to a wider range of discounted food on a long-term basis. Whilst emergency food provision is clearly vital, Food Clubs are a way of helping families plan ahead.  Reigate & Banstead is working closely with partners including children’s centres and schools to identify families and ensure support is delivered.


Reigate & Banstead has also made up to £5,000 available to support the work of local not for profit groups such as The Merstham Mix Cafe, which is also offering free children’s meals throughout October half term. Reigate & Banstead Borough Council will work with these organisations to help ensure further support is in place for children during the Christmas holidays.

This work complements the council’s existing work to support local food banks. It recently distributed £80,000 in funding (received from the Government’s Emergency Assistance Grant for Food & Essential Supplies via Surrey County Council) direct to six local food banks - Loveworks, St Matthew’s, Horley, Renewed Hope, Welcare and Epsom & Ewell – to enable them to replenish stocks following such an increased demand earlier in the year.

Cllr Mark Brunt, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “Many of our residents continue to feel the economic impact of this dreadful pandemic; many need our help and support. Access to nutritious food is a basic human need and we will work tirelessly together with many other organisations in the borough to help tackle food poverty.”

Help available

For any residents that may be struggling to make ends meet in these unprecedented times, we have support available at our online service directory. Go to and click on ‘I need help’. Or you can call our community helpline on 01737 276000.