Nestlé UK&I has formally signed up to the Child Food Poverty Taskforce set up by England international footballer Marcus Rashford.
The taskforce calls for three specific policy recommendations contained within the National Food Strategy – the expansion of free school meals, ensuring holiday provision for those on school meals and increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers for those families most at risk – to be adopted and fully funded by the Government.
The significant number of children and families affected by food poverty and the need to raise greater public and government awareness of the issue were key reasons behind Nestlé’s decision to join the task force.
Stefano Agostini, CEO of Nestlé UK&I said: "It is vital that we ensure the most vulnerable people in our society have access to food, especially at such an uncertain time. Nestlé is increasing its own support in this area by working with partners like Community Shop, Food Cloud and Fareshare; and we are very impressed with the leadership and drive that Marcus has demonstrated in shining a light on the many families and children who are struggling with food poverty. Nestlé is proud to join with Marcus and his Child Food Poverty Task Force and give our support to this extremely important initiative.”
Nestlé will work collaboratively with Marcus’s team and major retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and the Co-op, to call for immediate government funding to eradicate child food poverty in the UK.
Marcus Rashford commented: “The weight a brand like Nestle adds in pushing the conversation of child food poverty forward is massive. 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. No one wants to see a child going hungry and the time for change is now.”
Nestlé’s membership of the task force will complement its long-running support for Fareshare, the UK’s largest charity tackling hunger and food waste. Since 2005, Nestlé has donated large volumes of food on a weekly basis to support those most in need as well as providing logistical support and advice to ensure Fareshare improves its food distribution processes. Nestlé recently announced a further donation of 650,000 bowls of cereal due to the increased number of families suffering from food poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic, while Purina has given more than 550,000 meals to cats and dogs owned by families in need across the country.