Weetabix Food Company today announces its commitment to support Marcus Rashford’s Child Food Poverty Task Force. The company behind the nation’s favourite breakfast cereal is endorsing the campaign’s policy requests for the expansion of the free school meals scheme. This builds upon Weetabix’s existing work to ensure that school children are able to start the day with a nutritious breakfast.
Standing alongside industry peers, the Weetabix Food Company is proud to support Marcus Rashford’s campaign and call upon the government to endorse and fully fund the National Food Strategy’s three main policy recommendations:
- Expansion of free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5million 7-16 year olds
- Expansion of holiday provision (food and activities) to support all children on free school meals, reaching an additional 1.1million children
- Increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week (from £3.10) and expanding into all those on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 290,000 pregnant women and children under the age of four
Sally Abbott, managing director of Weetabix UK and Ireland, said: “We believe that no child should have to start their school day hungry, which is why we’re supporting Marcus in his ambition for the free school meals scheme to be expanded. Weetabix is founded upon belief that everyone should start the day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast and nearly ninety years on, we continue to uphold this principle.”
Marcus Rashford, England International Footballer, said: “Breakfast Club played an integral part in my life. Not only did it guarantee that I had fuel to sustain the day and really engage in learning but it is where I formed my life friendships. Breakfast Clubs offer a community, an acceptance and I’m thrilled to be announcing Weetabix as the newest member of the Task Force knowing the efforts they put in to support these vital services. People claim education is the best means of combating poverty but that formula is only successful if children are able to engage with learning. No child can engage and sustain concentration on an empty stomach.”
The announcement comes off the back of the brand’s recent partnership with charity Magic Breakfast to provide nearly 2 million ‘magic’ breakfasts of Weetabix Original to disadvantaged school children in areas across England and Scotland. Weetabix is providing food donations of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereal, as well as covering the delivery costs to the charity’s 480 partner schools.
Prior to the pandemic, 1.8 million school age children in the UK were at risk of starting the day hungry but according to the latest survey released by the Food Foundation earlier this month this number has increased, with 2.4 million children living in households that have had to compromise on the quantity of food they eat, skipped meals or gone hungry since March 2020.
Ever since it was founded in Northamptonshire in 1932, Weetabix has played a strong role in the local community. Each year, Weetabix donates surplus stock to more than 11,000 charities through industry schemes FareShare and GroceryAid. Weetabix continues to be the UK’s favourite healthy cereal and is endorsed by Public Health England as one of the lowest salt, sugar and fat options available. The average level of sugar in Weetabix products is 26 percent less than the average sugar level in the category.