brakes meals and more

Brakes is to pump half a million pounds into its initiative to combat child poverty, following a report by a group of MPs that revealed three million youngsters are going hungry during the school holidays.

The wholesaler said £500,000 would be injected into its Meals & More initiative over the next five years.

Brakes has invested £257,000 into the project since 2015.

The announcement came on the same day the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger published its report warning of the “major social evil” of children living off packets of crisps when school kitchens closed.

Speaking at the company’s Child Food Insecurity Forum at the House of Commons on Tuesday, Brakes UK CEO Ton Christiaanse said the current situation with child food poverty was ‘completely unacceptable’.

“In today’s society we simply cannot allow child hunger to continue,” he said.

“At Brakes we launched the Meals & More initiative to start a movement, a movement that will change the lives of millions of children for the better.

“But we need more support from other food businesses and from the government. In order to truly make a difference, we need to ensure that we are all working together to eliminate this blight on our society. Together we will make that difference.”

Brakes launched its Meals & More project in 2014 to alleviate child poverty during the school holidays.

In 2016 the initiative provided around 10,000 nutritious meals in the summer holidays alone, to almost 2,000 children.

“We are delighted that Brakes is making this extra investment as tackling child poverty is a huge challenge and we need business, industry and the government to recognise that funding is needed,” said Meals & More project manager Pem Hulusi.

“Holiday hunger is a stark symptom of UK child poverty, and many families really struggle over holiday periods without programmes like Meals & More. These valuable holiday clubs not only deliver tasty, nutritious meals but also offer fun activities that teach and encourage healthy lifestyles. They also aim to offer parents and children much-needed social support to tackle isolation and enhance their employment opportunities.”

A total of £400,000 has been donated and invested into Meals & More since its launch.