// M&S to give additional £5p/wk for each £15 voucher used at M&S via the free school meals scheme in England
// The announcement is supported by Marcus Rashford
// M&S has a downloadable weekly planner to help parents prepare 5 meals under £20 for 2 kids
Marks & Spencer has announced it will offer additional support to families receiving the government’s free school meals vouchers by adding £5 to every weekly £15 voucher.
This means the total value of the voucher would be brought to £20 when redeemed at a M&S food store.
The move has received support from leading food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford.
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“As a child, I relied on breakfast clubs to kick start my day the right way,” he said.
“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.”
M&S’s senior in-house nutritionist Laura Street has also developed a downloadable breakfast and lunch planner to help parents shop and prepare five nutritious breakfasts and lunches under £20 for two children.
“Learning via Zoom will be challenging for many children, but we know eating regular, balanced meals throughout the day can really help aid concentration,” Street said.
“Parents are keeping enough plates spinning right now, so we’ve worked up an example meal planner and shopping list to offer some inspiration and help to keep meals varied and nutritionally balanced throughout the week.
“The meal planner shows how to feed two children five breakfasts and five lunches for £20.
“And, as well as covering the cost of a daily breakfast, the extra £5 has allowed us to add additional fruit and vegetables to the planner too.”
M&S food managing director Stuart Machin said: “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 2100 local causes, from food banks to youth clubs, with donations of more than 20 million meals since the scheme began in 2015.”