Brakes has joined the Child Food Poverty Task Force, which was formed by professional footballer Marcus Rashford at the beginning of September.
Brakes will join Rashford and some of Britain’s leading retailers and food manufacturers to endorse three policy recommendations from the Government’s National Food Strategy, with the objective of seeing sufficient funds allocated to implementing them. The policy recommendations are:
- Expansion of free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5 million 7-16 year-olds.
- Expansion of holiday provision (food and activities) to support all children on free school meals, reaching an additional 1.1 million children.
- Increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week (from £3.10) and expanding to all those on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 290,000 pregnant women and children under the age of four.
Hugo Mahoney, Brakes CEO, said: “Child food poverty is a societal problem that Brakes passionately believes we need to address, so much so that in 2015 we started our own charity, Meals & More, to help fund, educate and provide practical support to address the complex issues of child holiday hunger.
“The Child Food Poverty Task Force has an incredibly important role to play in today’s very difficult climate, with many families struggling to put food on the table. We applaud the amazing job Marcus has done in shining a light on this important issue, and are ready to play our part in supporting the aims of the task force.”
While most of the companies working on the taskforce are retail-focused, the Brakes team felt that the foodservice sector was under-represented and were keen to link up with Rashford to lend support.
Rashford said: “This is an inclusive task force and I’m amazed by the momentum it’s gathering. There is such power in us all standing together and I’m very proud that I stand with influential voices and platforms who are committed to changing the lives of millions of children in the UK. I’m confident Brakes will be able to offer new and valuable insight. No one wants to see a child going hungry and the time for change is now.”
Joining the task force is a natural progression for Brakes which, through its Meals & More charity, has already provided around 500,000 meals for the nation’s most vulnerable children since it started. It supports food provision at more than 150 clubs a year, which give more than 10,000 children the opportunity to take part in activities, enjoy healthy food and avoid the social isolation which often results from poverty.