One in four UK children lives in poverty. What are we doing about this?
Meals & More is a nationwide charitable programme, driven by Brakes and businesses we work with, that supports holiday clubs for children in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.
Millions of children in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland receive free school meals. It is recognised that these children and their families need support – but there is no structured support outside of the school term. These same children could go as long as 6 weeks at a time, in the summer holidays, without a decent meal.
Brakes partners with suppliers and local charities/community organisations to run holiday clubs – providing tasty, nutritious food and enrichment activities within a safe, stimulating environment. We are starting to extend our partnership to our thousands of customers too – after all, child poverty is everyone’s business.
Back in 2015, we recognised our potential as a national food supplier to help alleviate child poverty, drawing on our own network of suppliers and industry members. Since then we’ve grown to support over 150 clubs; alongside our supplier supporters, delivery partners, MPs, local authorities and others from the food industry, we’re fuelling a growing movement to tackle UK child food insecurity. We hope others will be as passionate as we are, and welcome any support you can offer.
"Meals & More has set a very, very high bar for businesses looking to play their part in eradicating child hunger."
“It has, amongst a mountain of work on this front, enabled Feeding Britain to counter child hunger in a number of communities during school holidays. Likewise, it has helped our cross-party campaign in Parliament to secure the most significant reform in over a century to tackle child hunger.”
Frank Field MP
In 2017 Frank Field MP proposed a new government bill which would require local authorities to provide food and activities for children in need outside of term time – the “School Holidays (Meals and Activities)” Bill.
Meals & More is a proud supporter of this bill; our biannual industry forums are all about raising awareness and gathering broad support for a national solution.
In January 2018, the government agreed to fund a pilot of holiday clubs to assess their potential benefits.
How to support Meals & More
We’re grateful for any support you can offer us, whether that’s local fundraising, product donations, sharing knowledge and skills, or signing up as a formal supporter to help fund the programme. Everyone has something different to offer! While volunteering with children may not be for everyone (and some clubs can’t offer volunteering opportunities), there are plenty of ways to get involved.
MasterChef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean showed off his skills in July 2017 at Dalmarnock Primary School, working with families attending the school’s summer holiday club (supported by Meals & More) to improve their culinary knowledge and skills.
Brakes Scotland work in partnership with Gary to develop new Scottish products; we’re making the most not just of his skills as a chef, but also his experience as a father of five to support Meals & More.
“I have five children – I know preparing healthy meals when you’re up against it is an ongoing struggle and can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. My goal here is to show that nutritious meals can be affordable, simple to make and delicious for all the family!” Gary Maclean