Meals & More reports challenging summer as cost of living crisis hits hard

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Meals & More, the charity started by leading UK wholesaler Brakes, has reported the most challenging summer since it was launched in 2015, as families navigate huge increases in the cost of food and basic goods.

The charity has also reacted to reports that families are having to cancel plans for the summer holidays as they struggle to pay for the basics, with the launch of a new campaign, ‘The Big Day Out’.

The Big Day Out is a pilot programme aimed at giving children at least one special memory over the Summer with Big Days Out being enjoyed at events as diverse as Go Ape, a day at the seaside or Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Making Summer days extra special are some free Wall’s Ice Creams provided by Meals & More Supporter, Unilever.

As well as the Big Day Out, Meals & More is helping to provide more than 200,000 meals to vulnerable families this summer.

Kate Woodhouse, Chair of Trustees for Meals & More explains: “While the pandemic was challenging, we’ve reached an entirely new level with families really suffering with the unexpected rise in household costs and food. We had hoped that the increased Government support would help address the issue of holiday hunger, but unfortunately, we are seeing more and more children and their families being dragged into poverty. We’ve added six new delivery partners this year as we seek to increase our work, but we can only continue to grow with the support of companies like Brakes, Unilever, Innis & Gunn, Kellogg’s and Quorn Professionals.”

Brakes recently committed a further £500,000 to the charity as Margaret Gooch, Sysco GB’s HR Director, explains: “It’s heartbreaking to see so much need in the country and we are delighted to be helping Meals & More as it provides support to address some of the issues that are impacting young people and families today. Sysco’s mission is ‘Connecting the World to share food and care for one another’ and Meals & More is a fundamental part of that.”

Margaret’s comments are echoed by delivery partners, who run the clubs on the ground, Kate Jeffels, Chief Officer for Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland, said: “We truly couldn’t deliver what we do without Meals & More. The demand for our support increased from providing 13,500 meals per year in 2019 to over 100,000 meals per year during the pandemic. Meals & More stepped up to enable us to be able to continue helping those who need it most.

“Now, with the cost of living crisis, the demand and dependency on services like ours are increasing further and we are so grateful to Meals & More for enabling us to continue.”

Chair of Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland, Rt Rvd Paul Ferguson, Bishop of Whitby went on to explain:

“We provide help to families in some of the countries most deprived communities here in the county of South Tees. The support from Meals and More has never been more crucial to delivering our service.”

Companies interested in helping support Meals & More’s work can contact katherine.ainsworth@brake.co.uk; Corporate Partnerships Manager, Meals & More.

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