Tackling Child Poverty

Tom Kerridge, Michelin starred chef and Marcus Rashford MBE, professional footballer at Manchester United, have joined forces to launch a new programme “Full Time: Get Cooking with Marcus and Tom” which aims to ease child poverty in conjunction with the government’s April 2021 Healthy Start voucher scheme.

The programme is in partnership with Rashford’s Child Poverty Taskforce and aims to equip children with vital life skills, educating both children and their families on how to cook simple dishes. The campaign will help families maximise their Healthy Start vouchers (which equate to £4.25 per child under the age of four per week) and hopes to encourage everyone who is eligible to make full use of their vouchers.

The Child Food Poverty Taskforce was formed and spearheaded by Marcus Rashford MBE, members include major supermarkets and
key players in the food industry. Pre-Covid-19, 4.2 million children were living in poverty in the UK, equating to nine in every classroom of 30 (Child Poverty Action Group).

Marcus says “Following Government investment into Healthy Start, it was important to me that we demonstrated the power in collaboration. We needed to come up with a creative project that really engaged children most in need, preparing them for what adult life has to offer, whilst also attracting all children to break down stigma around usage of the vouchers. This project is for every child and I really hope parents and carers will benefit from having a bit of valuable time together in the kitchen when family activity is heavily restricted by financial restraints.”

As part of the 12 month programme, Tom Kerridge, who is involved in the National Food Strategy taskforce, has created 52 low cost simple and easy family recipes which don’t require a lot of equipment and include store cupboard goods with a longer shelf life. Recipes include Chicken Satay Stir Fry, Fish Pie Jackets, Mexican and Cauliflower Cheese and Creamy Chicken Pie.

Every Sunday, the recipes will be made available in selected supermarkets. The recipes feature a QR code which links through to the “Full Time” Instagram page for the cook-along video showing how to create the recipe. These are hosted by Tom and Marcus who are joined by celebrity guests including Joe Wicks who cooks Tom’s Tortilla Pizzas. Children and their parents or carers are encouraged to try out the recipes, sharing the results via Instagram using the hashtag #fulltimemeals.

So healthy, climate-friendly food has financial benefits too. Join the dots to create a truly balanced food offering.