M&S will give extra support to families by funding an additional £5 per week for each £15 lunch voucher redeemed at M&S via the Government’s free school meals scheme in England
- The additional £5 can be used to provide children with a healthy nutritious breakfast in addition to lunch
- The announcement is supported by Marcus Rashford MBE
- The retailer has produced a downloadable weekly meal planner to help parents prepare five simple, nutritious breakfasts and lunches for under £20 (for two children)
Today M&S announces it will offer additional support to families receiving free school meals vouchers by adding £5 to every weekly £15 voucher, bringing the total value of the voucher to £20. The additional £5 will ensure that children can receive an extra daily meal and eat both a healthy and nutritious breakfast and lunchtime meal.
Marcus Rashford MBE, says: “As a child, I relied on breakfast clubs to kick start my day the right way. Breakfast is so important to guarantee children have the ability to engage in learning, and to flourish within the education system, to go on to succeed at whatever they choose to do in life. Education is the most effective means of breaking cycles of hardship in some respects but education is only achievable with strong engagement and concentration. Unfortunately for the majority, hunger does not allow that. I thank M&S for taking the strong initiative to support the uplift of the vouchers to cover an essential meal of the day and I’m confident we will see a great response from those most vulnerable.”
To help parents shop and prepare simple, tasty and nutritionally balanced breakfasts and lunches, M&S’ senior in-house nutritionist, Laura Street has developed a downloadable breakfast and lunch planner. The online planner www.marksandspencer.com/lunchplanner includes hints, tips and mealtime inspiration for ten meals for two children, all with minimal food prep, as well as tips on avoiding food waste. The planner includes family favorites such as porridge with fruit, eggs and soldiers, flour tortilla pizzas with salad and tomato pasta.
Stuart Machin, M&S Food Managing Director says: “M&S always puts customers at the heart of what we do and we want to step up and do our bit to help families during this difficult time. Through bolstering the Government’s £15 meal voucher to £20, we can ensure that children get a nutritious breakfast as well as lunch and we are delighted that Marcus Rashford is supporting our efforts. We also continue our work with Neighbourly to redistribute surplus food from our stores, supporting over 2,100 local causes, from food banks to youth clubs, with donations of more than 20 million meals since the scheme began in 2015.”
M&S Food offers great value on all the essentials and the £20 planner has been designed to feed two children breakfast as well as lunch (due to pack sizes and to ensure no food waste). This enables families with younger children not in receipt of the vouchers to feed an extra child and those with more than one child on the scheme will have additional vouchers to spend on great value, quality M&S food.
Laura Street, M&S Senior In-House nutritionist says:
“Learning via Zoom will be challenging for many children, but we know eating regular, balanced meals throughout the day can really help aid concentration. Parents are keeping enough plates spinning right now, so we’ve worked up an example meal planner and shopping list to offer some inspiration and help to keep meals varied and nutritionally balanced throughout the week. The meal planner shows how to feed two children five breakfasts and five lunches for £20. And, as well as covering the cost of a daily breakfast, the extra £5 has allowed us to add additional fruit and vegetables to the planner too.”
The planner builds on the success of the £15 Lunchtime Meal Planner launched by M&S last year and designed by its in-house nutrition team. This was developed alongside the original government £15 free school meals voucher scheme and was recognized for its content in The Consumer Goods Forum’s Healthier Lives Report in October 2020.
Since 2015, M&S stores have supported over 2,100 local causes nationwide, from food banks to youth clubs and hospices, donating more than 20 million meals so far to those in need. In partnership with Neighbourly the new colleague app is now in all 585 M&S stores, enabling many of them to more than double their food redistribution rates. Across the UK, more than 7.8 million meals have been donated since 1st March alone.