Today M&S has announced 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, said, '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 favourites such as porridge with fruit, eggs and soldiers, flour tortilla pizzas with salad and tomato pasta.
Stuart Machin, M&S Food Managing Director, said, '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.”