UK retailer banks on fruit snacks to combat holiday hunger for four million kids

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

JLP - the UK's largest employee-owned business - is working to ensure hungry tummies are kept full this summer. Pic: JLP
JLP - the UK's largest employee-owned business - is working to ensure hungry tummies are kept full this summer. Pic: JLP

Related tags John lewis partnership Waitrose Fareshare childhood hunger Carbon emissions

Although the summer holidays are a eagerly-awaited treat for most British kids, the sad reality is that up to three million go hungry when schools close.

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) – which was founded nearly a century ago and owns two of Britain’s largest retail brands, John Lewis and Waitrose – has unveiled a number of initiatives to help families in need this summer.

Firstly, it is working with long-time partner FareShare, along with Waitrose farmers and suppliers, to provide four million healthy fruit snacks to more than 3,000 charities and organisations across the UK, many of which are part of the government’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

JLP is also donating £200,000 to the Trussell Trust, which will go towards enabling 136 food banks in the trust’s network to support thousands of families with emergency food and practical support over the summer. Over 55,000 families have already been supported by the food banks in the Trussell Trust network this year.

And finally, the retailer is issuing a call out to customers to donate to help families online via DONR.

Give a little love

The initiatives follow JLP’s Give a Little Love ‘Farm to Family’ campaign launched last year to help those hardest hit by the pandemic.

The campaign has already raised over £3m for FareShare, Home-Start and local community groups, with a further £2m pledged earlier this year. It has also seen five million surplus food items being diverted from British farms to reach families in need.

“We know many families are struggling this summer and we want to do our part,”​ said Marija Rompani, ethics and sustainability director at JLP.

“We are therefore harnessing our longstanding relationships with our farmers and suppliers to provide nourishing and healthy snacks this summer. We can’t act in isolation and are thrilled that so many food businesses are joining us in taking an active role this summer to help vulnerable families in need. If we all join together in tackling this issue, then we can help end child poverty for good.”

The JLP is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. For many years, it has worked with FareShare – the UK’s largest food redistribution charity – on the premise that no good food should go to waste, especially when people are going hungry.

Key figures from the Farm to Family initiative:

  • 514 tonnes of food redistributed
  • The equivalent of 1,490,544 meals donated
  • 3,500 charities supported
  • Around 420,000 beneficiaries supported
  • An estimated 1,645,856 kg of CO2​ saved

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