Foodservice wholesaler Brakes has pledged £500,000 over the next five years to support its charity Meals & More.

The charity, which was founded by Brakes in 2015, helps families by providing healthy food during the school holidays, when vulnerable children often go hungry.

The company said the pandemic had increased the need for the Meals & More service as thousands of families were pushed into poverty. Consequently, in 2021, the charity provided over 750,000 meals via food parcels and packed meals.

“The latest tranche of funding will mean that we’ve invested more than £1m in supporting the aims and ambitions of Meals & More,” said Peter Jackson, CEO of Brakes parent company Sysco GB.

“When we started the charity in 2015, holiday hunger was not well understood, and our mission was to create a movement to put an end to holiday hunger by bringing the issue to government and the public’s attention.

“Fast-forward almost seven years and it’s very much on the public agenda and we’ve made so much progress in that time. Sadly, however, it seems that in these challenging times, the work of Meals & More is even more important to many families.”

Meals & More operations director Peter McGrath said: “We are delighted that Brakes remains so passionate about our work. Without their support, which spreads far beyond generous financial donations, the charity wouldn’t have been able to achieve anywhere near as much as we have.

“On behalf of all the families that we’ve helped, we thank Brakes and our other supporters for their continuing support.”