In September 2020, footballer Marcus Rashford formed the Child Food Poverty Task Force, a coalition of charities and businesses campaigning to reduce child food poverty in the UK. As a result of Marcus’ campaigning, the UK Government announced a funding package to help families financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic: the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. You can read more about the campaign, which was inspired by Marcus’ own experience of growing up in poverty, at Further information about the Covid Winter Grant Scheme in the London Borough of Bromley, which ended in April 2021, can be found here:

Covid Winter Grant Scheme

At Bromley Brighter Beginnings, our mission is to reduce the impact of poverty on children in the borough by providing practical support to their parents and other caregivers. This typically means providing items such as clothes, toiletries, school uniform and beds, and we help several hundred families a year.

We wanted to add our voice

We wanted to add our voice to the remarkable response to Marcus’ campaign from food businesses, charities and individuals all over the country. We recognised, however, that we did not have the resources to provide actual food in the way that many organisations did. We therefore decided to provide supermarket vouchers of £15 per child eligible for Pupil Premium for every week of the autumn school holidays. 

The advantages of providing vouchers:

We could get them to the families quickly, and they gave the parent the dignity of choice as to what would be best for their child, taking into account any food preferences, intolerances or allergies. 

Child food poverty was clearly a subject that touched the hearts of our generous supporters too; our fundraiser in October 2020 was so successful that we raised nearly £15,000 in one weekend! This enabled us to extend the provision of vouchers to all school holidays until beginning of September 2021, and to provide all children living in domestic abuse refuges with vouchers for the entire academic year. As at 14 June 2021, we have so far provided 599 vouchers to children living in the borough.

“No child in the UK should go to bed hungry. Whatever your feeling, opinion or judgement, food poverty is never the child’s fault.”

– Marcus Rashford