Iceland has today announced further support for Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty in the UK by offering free frozen vegetables to families using Healthy Start Vouchers.
Earlier this week, it was announced that supermarket chain is part of the Child Poverty Task Force formed by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford and the retailer has now jumped even further into action by offering shoppers using Healthy Start Vouchers a free bag of frozen veg worth £1.
Frozen veg is said to offers the same nutritional value of fresh veg, whilst also helping to reduce waste and last longer, which helps families to manage their spend. This free frozen veg will boost the value of the vouchers to ensure that all families have easy access to nutritious food at a great value.
Those with Healthy Start Vouchers can redeem the offer from Friday 11th September.
The offer comes after Marcus Rashford called for the government to implement three of the policy recommendations of the National Food Strategy – including increasing the value of Healthy Start Vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25 – and now Iceland’s initiative will add value to the scheme, while the government considers the improvements it will make through policy changes.
The Manchester United footballer and Wythenshawe-local announced the forming of the taskforce this week, as he continues to tackle child food poverty.
The initiatives suggested include the expansion of free school meals, expansion of school holiday food and activity programmes, and increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers as well as expanding their availability to all those on Universal Credit.
Iceland Foods was named as one of the supporters of the campaign and is backing proposals drafted by the National Food Strategy.
Marcus Rashford said: “My hope on forming the Child Food Poverty Task Force was that it would ignite conversation relating to the issue – why is this happening? How is this happening? And, are we really doing everything we can to help?
“Iceland’s new initiative grew out of that conversation and it really shows how the simplest step can have impact.”
Henry Dimbleby – Head of the independent National Food Strategy – said: “It is brilliant that Iceland have taken this step to help children get more fruit and veg into their diets. What a great example of how a supermarket can help low-income households eat well.
“Eating well in childhood is the very foundation stone of equality of opportunity. There is a serious danger that this economic downturn will increases hunger and poor diet, and leave a lasting scar on the bodies and prospects of our young children.
“I urge the government to follow suit by increasing the value of Healthy Start Vouchers to £4.25 a week and offering them to all pregnant women and parents and carers on universal credit with children under four.”
Following the implementation of the initiative, Iceland will report findings and learnings back to the Food Foundation – which is working to support the implementation of the National Food Strategy recommendations – government Ministers and Marcus himself in the hope that this will encourage the government to accept the pressing need to increase the value of, and extend the entitlement to Healthy Start Vouchers.
Richard Walker – Managing Director of Iceland Foods – said: “We are proud to stand alongside Marcus Rashford as he continues this vital campaign, and we understand the pressing need to help from our interactions with millions of customers each week.
“We were keen to implement initiatives as soon as possible, without waiting for the Government to respond, which is why we have introduced our frozen vegetable offer.
“At Iceland we have a long history of supporting our local communities and offering great quality, low cost food to help families across the country [and] we will continue to review our commitment to ensure we are able to support Marcus’ campaign to the fullest possible extent.”
You can find out more via the Iceland website here.