Nestlé UK & Ireland will help 8,000 families who might otherwise go hungry during the school summer holidays with a £1 million investment in association with Community Shop and FoodCloud.
Community Shop, which works in areas experiencing some of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK, will use the investment to provide fresh, nutritious meals for vulnerable children and their families.
The funding will also support Community Shop’s broader aims to build stronger individuals and more confident communities through services ranging from debt advice, training and personal development.
The investment will also allow Community Shop to run a summer programme of events which aims to celebrate the power of food, with the sharing of recipes and cooking demonstrations, amongst many other activities such as virtual exercise classes.
In Ireland, Nestlé will work with FoodCloud, a social enterprise that works with charity partners to redistribute surplus food to families in need. FoodCloud says it has seen an exponential rise in the demand for its services following the Covid-19 lockdown.
According to a recent Food Foundation survey conducted by YouGov, 3.2 million people in the UK living in households with children under 18 have suffered from food insecurity due to issues such as loss of income or isolation since lockdown began. At the same time, research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that one in five households is experiencing poverty today.
The support to those 8,000 families is on behalf of Nestlé’s 8,000 employees in the UK and Ireland.
“Nestlé is ready to play its part and we are looking at a range of further initiatives, whether that’s increasing our regular donations to food banks or encouraging our people to use some of their 16,000 annual volunteer days to further support Covid-19 recovery efforts in their local communities.”
Stefano Agostini, chief executive officer of Nestlé UK & Ireland said: “Access to food is an urgent problem made worse by this global pandemic. We know that many people are struggling to feed themselves, their children and even their pets which leads to some impossible choices for a household. As schools begin their summer break today, millions of children are at risk of holiday hunger. On behalf of our 8,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, we will be helping 8,000 low-income families to access food and services over the summer.
“This is only a fraction of what is required, of course. Hunger and food insecurity are serious problems that require significant government-led action across the board. Nestlé is ready to play its part and we are looking at a range of further initiatives, whether that’s increasing our regular donations to food banks or encouraging our people to use some of their 16,000 annual volunteer days to further support Covid-19 recovery efforts in their local communities.”
“The impact of Covid-19 will be far-reaching but we must all take this chance to consider how we can do things differently for the future and contribute to a strong recovery. Nestlé UK & Ireland will focus its efforts over the coming months to build a more flexible and diverse workplace, adapt our business, help improve access to food, contribute to a green recovery and support youth employment.”
John Marren, founder & chairman of Community Shop said: “We are incredibly grateful for such a generous investment. It means we can reach more children and families and have an even greater positive impact on the lives of the people in the communities we are so proud to serve. The funding comes at a critical time, with many families facing increased hardship due to Covid-19, and at the onset of the school holidays, where many families struggle to access food and wider support.
“Thanks to Nestlé’s incredible support, we can provide an invaluable lifeline to so many, and work together to create a legacy in our communities. It is thanks to the fantastic backing of industry partners like Nestlé that we are able to deliver such a positive social, economic and environmental impact.”
Iseult Ward, Co-Founder and CEO, FoodCloud said: “Since April, FoodCloud have redistributed record volumes of food to charities all over Ireland. Whilst this represents a huge achievement for our own teams, it also demonstrates the reality of the growing demand for food in communities, which we are increasingly unable to meet with our current surplus supply. Our network of community partners have indicated that demand for their services is expected to grow, citing the planned scaleback of pandemic financial supports coinciding with back to school financial pressures in August and September.
“FoodCloud is very grateful for this generous support from Nestle which will enable us to provide our charity partners with improved access to food that specifically meets the nutritional needs of the families and children they support during this critical time.”