• Waitrose will also accept Free School Meal Vouchers over the summer, with the supermarket having donated 10 million meals worth of food to local organisations via the FareShare network since 2017
  • In addition, the Partnership is working with Home-Start UK to roll out its Healthy Happy Home programme – training volunteers to educate families on food, sleep and financial wellbeing
  • The support comes as half of parents admit they need more support to get their children to eat healthy and nutritious meals, particularly during the summer holidays

With up to three million children at risk of facing hunger over the school holidays, and many families struggling to keep the kids entertained for six weeks, the summer holidays for many will be a stressful time. As a result, the John Lewis Partnership has unveiled several initiatives to support families this summer, including unlocking £1m* for local charities and organisations helping to support children in families on the lowest incomes across the UK during the summer holidays, as well as a £200k donation to the Trussell Trust.

Being able to put healthy meals on kitchen tables is one of the biggest concerns for parents this summer, according to a recent survey** by the John Lewis Partnership. 56 per cent said they struggle to get a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, protein and healthy carbohydrates into their children’s diets at regular times of the year, let alone during the summer holidays. 40% of parents said they are dreading family mealtimes this summer as a result.  55 percent of respondents said they would like more help on how to cook quick, tasty and healthy meals, and two-fifths (41%) of parents said the biggest barriers to producing healthy meals for their kids over the summer were time and cost.

Lindsey Crompton, Partner and Social Impact & Health Lead, at the John Lewis Partnership, said, “Our shops play a key role in their local communities and we know that the long summer holidays can be stressful for parents and caregivers trying to juggle work, childcare, feeding the family with extra daily meals each day and keeping everyone entertained. We are proud to be able to help ease the impact of some of these concerns and help reduce the number of families facing hunger this summer.”

“Working with the Trussell Trust and other local food banks, we are encouraging customers to donate food or personal care items to the permanent collection boxes located in our Waitrose branches. Since the start of this year, our generous customers have donated the equivalent of over one million meals to people through emergency food parcels provided by local food banks alongside practical support. On top of this, we have donated over 10 million meals worth of food to local organisations through our work with FareShare to date.”

To support local families throughout the summer, Waitrose and John Lewis shops will be donating over £1m to fund places at holiday clubs, trips, equipment to support fun activities and healthy snacks and meals.

Former Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi recently spoke to the John Lewis Partnership as part of a roundtable with supermarkets and sport groups to discuss the valuable support they give to disadvantaged children and families in their communities, as organisations were encouraged to boost their support for their holiday scheme. Holiday Activities and Food clubs supported over 600,000 children last summer alone, after it was expanded to run nationally.

The Partnership is also partnering with Home-Start UK this summer to roll out a programme called Healthy Happy Home. This will provide training to Home-Start’s network of ten thousand volunteers to help them support families in key areas including food, nutrition & cooking, sleep and financial wellbeing.  In addition, Waitrose will accept Free School Meal vouchers throughout the summer and will continue to work with FareShare to donate surplus food to people supported by their community partners.

Select Waitrose stores will also be offering customers the chance to donate Give A Little Love bags, which will contain healthy snacks, toiletries, nappies and other essential everyday items***. The bags, which come in a range of prices up to £10, can be paid for at the checkout and dropped off at one of the Give A Little Love food bank donation points in-store. The items are collected by the local food bank and distributed to those in the community who need it most.

*The John Lewis Partnership will donate over £1m to local charities and organisations helping to support children in poverty across the UK during the summer holidays John Lewis and Waitrose shops have been asked to direct their regular community donations (typically £3,000 per shop) to charities in their community offering school holiday help to families on low incomes. Support will be given through donations which could be used to fund places at holiday clubs, trips, equipment to support fun activities and healthy snacks and meals. Where possible, they will link in to their local authority’s Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) Programme which is funded by the Department for Education.

**Survey by One Poll, commissioned by Waitrose of 2000 adults on Family Mealtimes, Spring 2022.

***Waitrose works closely with the Trussell Trust to understand what items most are needed by food banks and Partners in shops build relationships with their local food banks to ascertain what products are most needed.

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