Waitrose to accept Free School Meal vouchers in £1.2m John Lewis charity push

Waitrose will be accepting Free School Meal vouchers this summer as part of a wider £1.2m charitable support package from The John Lewis Partnership.

The retail group has unveiled several initiatives to support families this summer, including a £1 million donation for local charities and organisations supporting those on the lowest incomes, as well as a £200,000 donation to the Trussell Trust.

A recent survey conducted by John Lewis found that providing healthy meals is one of the biggest concerns for parents this summer. More than half (56%) said they struggle to give their children a balanced diet during term-time.

The six-week school holidays are often particularly difficult for families and households on the lowest incomes, as they are unable to rely on help offered by schools, such as Free School Meal vouchers.

To help negate this Waitrose will be accepting Free School Meal vouchers throughout the summer holiday period. It will also continue to work with food redistribution network FareShare to donate surplus food into the community.

READ MORE: Waitrose boss calls for government help with cost of living crisis

Select Waitrose stores will also be providing pre-packed Give A Little Love bags, which contain essential grocery items and can be paid for at the checkout before being dropped off at one of the food bank donation points in-store

John Lewis Partnership is also partnering with charitable organisation Home-Start UK over the summer, for its Healthy Happy Home programme. This will provide training to over 10,000 volunteers helping them support families who are struggling.

“Our shops play a key role in their local communities and we know that the long summer holidays can be stressful for parents and caregivers trying to juggle work, childcare, feeding the family with extra daily meals each day and keeping everyone entertained,” said John Lewis social impact and health lead, Lindsey Crompton.

“We are proud to be able to help ease the impact of some of these concerns and help reduce the number of families facing hunger this summer.”

Since the start of 2022, John Lewis and Waitrose customers have donated the equivalent of over one million meals via emergency food parcels provided by local food banks. At the same time, the Partnership has donated over 10 million meals worth of food to local organisations through its work with FareShare.

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