One in four UK children lives in poverty.  What are we doing about this?

What is Meals & More?

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.

Get in touch to get involved – we’d love to hear from you. Contact Pem Hulusi, Meals & More Programme Manager, at pem.hulusi@brake.co.uk

“Meals & More has the potential to make a significant difference to children living in poverty” (Pem Hulusi, Meals & More Programme Manager)

How it works

  • Clubs are funded with donations from suppliers, Brakes and other supporters
  • Donations are primarily used to run and fund clubs; a small proportion (less than 5%) supports an evaluation PhD at Northumbria University researching the effects of holiday hunger and holiday club provision
  • We and our supporters also support clubs with product donations, volunteers, ad-hoc appeals (e.g. school uniforms, Christmas presents) and products available at non-profit prices

"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 Numbers

  • 10 delivery partners (charities, community organisations, local authorities)
  • 40+ supplier supporters
  • 154 UK clubs supported in 2017
  • 9,000+ children attended these clubs in summer 2017
  • Over £80,000 raised in 2017 – across colleague fundraising, our Supplier Golf Day and a Christmas Appeal
  • 1 Meals & More cookbook launched - with simple, tasty recipes designed for our clubs and their budgets
  • 1 pilot programme with The Literacy Trust - supporting 3 clubs in North Yorkshire where each child gets to choose and keep 2 books, and the clubs are guided to encourage reading
  • 1 award won, 3 nominations - Meals & More won the Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the 2017 Foodservice Packaging Association Awards
  • 2 industry forums at the House of Commons in Westminster - through these events we brought together Delivery Partners, supplier supporters, MPs, people from industry organisations, the PhD student we're sponsoring and the Children's Commissioner for Scotland!
  • 133 MP signatures so far on the “School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill”

Creating a national movement to tackle UK holiday hunger

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.

#holidayhunger

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.

  • Be a signed-up supporter – as a supplier or a customer! Our formal supporter partnerships aim to match you with a specific delivery partner and, where possible, clubs local to you so your colleagues can engage directly. It’s a fantastic way to lend support to your local community
  • Make a donation here, straight to our charity account
  • Fundraising – everything from bake sales to sponsored head shaving! The proceeds from fundraising activity can be donated directly to our charity account
  • Food donations – our clubs welcome donations of supplies. At certain times of the year they can help you to cut down on waste, for products with limited shelf-life remaining (surplus/unsaleable stock)
  • Product donations – stationery, arts and crafts, cooking and kitchen equipment, cleaning products and school supplies are particularly sought-after
  • Volunteering – though not all clubs can support volunteering requests, many can; it’s a great way for colleagues to get involved directly. Please note that clubs are likely to require DBS checks, as most volunteering roles will involve working with children
  • Skills donations – training sessions for children or adults are engaging and highly valuable. Whatever your business specialism, sharing important skills can improve employability
  • Networking/relationship-building – Meals & More is part of a growing national movement to tackle UK child food poverty. Can your connections help to drive this movement? Or at a more local level, what business partnerships could help our clubs and those that visit them?

“Brakes truly are making a difference to those children in need and it is a pleasure to work with and support them in this endeavour.”

Sharon Hodgson MP

Supporter Information

  • Delivery partner agreement
  • Food supply only agreement
  • Supporter letter of agreement

If you can’t find what you need on this page, please contact Pem Hulusi

MasterChef winner Gary Maclean visits Glasgow holiday club

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

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