Meals and More

Source: Brakes

Meals & More has set up an online donation page in a bid to raise the financial shortfall felt by families this Christmas

Brakes is urging the food industry to help provide meals for vulnerable families this Christmas, warning the government’s extension of support will not reach everyone that needs it.

The call comes as the foodservice wholesaler’s charity, Meals & More, launched its fifth annual Christmas campaign this week.

An online donation page has been set up as part of the charity’s fundraising strategy after the 220 clubs it supports highlighted the need for additional funding this year.

It hopes to raise £10,000 via the Virgin Money page, which will equate to 20,000 meals.

Last week the government performed another U-turn on the provision of free school meals through the holidays with the announcement of a support package to help children and families over the winter period.

However, the charity is concerned that the extension of the Holiday Activity & Food Programme and Healthy Start Voucher improvement is not sufficient to cover enough children that live with poverty and isolation.

“Since Marcus began campaigning there has been an increase in understanding of child food poverty and the needs of children and families during holiday periods,” said Meals & More operations director Peter McGrath. “There is a danger that people think this announcement from the government solves the problem – it doesn’t. Of course it’s a step in the right direction, but there will still be many, many parents dreading the expense of Christmas, and especially this year when so many are suffering financially because of Covid, but Meals & More continues to work to lessen those worries.”

Brakes’ CEO Hugo Mahoney added: “We call on everyone who can to support the current effort to put an end to holiday hunger. With around five million children living in poverty, the latest government support package won’t end child food poverty, but it will be a huge step in the right direction. However, we need to do more, so please visit if you can help. We have the infrastructure in place, but the need is growing so fast we must redouble our efforts to keep pace, so more children don’t go hungry this Christmas.”

Over the last five years Meals & More has provided more than 440,000 meals to over 10,000 children each year.