From the month of December this year, Asda, a leading supermarket chain, is providing one free meal a day to children under the age of 16.
With the alarmingly increasing rate of hunger poverty in the United Kingdom, nine out of 30 pupils in any given classroom living in poverty from 2018 to 2019, charities, organisations and institutions have put schemes in place to tackle this distressing problem. This Christmas, Asda is one of those who have chosen to help.
In the last three years, 50 million meals have been donated by Asda to foodbanks and charities supporting the homeless, aiming to give one million more this Christmas. In these unprecedented times, Asda have shown compassion to help those most vulnerable this festive season. This decision is part of the supermarket chain’s Christmas Kindness Campaign, their slogan being ‘Fight Hunger Create Change’.
December can be a very difficult and expensive month for many families, accentuated this year by the uncertainties that the pandemic has brought, so the introduction of free meals in 216 of Asda’s stores makes this period just that little bit easier for parents.
From pancakes for breakfast to fish fingers or lasagne for dinner, the children’s menu has a range of nutritious and delicious meals to enjoy, all including a piece of fruit and a drink. There are no conditions to the deal, no limits on how many children, just that an adult must be accompanying the child or children. They also add that areas under lockdown restrictions are able to redeem their meals in the form of a takeaway. With this initiative, Asda expects to serve around 216,000 free kid’s meals, meaning that 216,000 meals will not be missed, and a lot less children will go hungry this December.
Some have speculated that this campaign has come after the Government’s decision to reject the extension of free school meals to children throughout the Christmas holidays, although this has since been reversed. Widespread media backlash to this rejection can be seen to be the cause of this government U-turn, and has influenced the introduction of a Covid Winter grant scheme. This will see financial support for food and bills by local councils from December to March, and an extra £170 million has been pledged for this cause.
In these difficult and unprecedented times, when it seems those in charge of the country are focusing elsewhere, the kindness of individuals and charities, and these sorts of campaigns from large and powerful corporations are what really makes a difference in tackling problems such as hunger poverty, and without them, thousands more of both children and adults would go without food daily.