The John Lewis Partnership has today announced that it will step up efforts to help those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, by donating over £1m this summer to more than 1,000 local charities and community organisations helping to end child poverty across the UK.
It’s part of our Give a Little Love programme, which aims to make a lasting difference to those in need.
A total of 2.3 million children experienced food insecurity between March and August last year, and 850,000 children reported that they or their families visited a food bank1.
To help tackle this important issue, each John Lewis and Waitrose shop will be directing their regular community donations to charities in their own communities that support children in poverty. This support will run from May to July - providing vital support during the May half term and summer holidays when millions of children are at risk of being hungry.
Support will be given through donations of money, products (for example, clothing or kitchen equipment) and food donations.
We are also proud members of Marcus Rashford’s Child Food Poverty Task Force, a coalition of brands working together to end child food poverty.
Marija Rompani, Partner & Director of Ethics & Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “No child should ever go hungry or be without basic human needs and we want to do all we can to help. By working with the many incredible charities in local communities across the country, we hope to make a real impact and help as many children as we can.”
Marcus Rashford MBE, commented: "John Lewis Partnership is a valuable founding member of the Child Food Poverty Task Force and the company has strongly demonstrated their commitment to ending child food poverty across the UK since we formed. 'Give a Little Love' was a powerful and touching campaign over the Christmas holidays and I'm thrilled to see that campaign being built upon to guarantee more of those in need get the help they deserve. I want to take the opportunity to thank the John Lewis Partnership for their ongoing support."
The announcement is the latest of a number of initiatives we’ve launched to support families in need.
In addition to the donation, Waitrose shops will continue to donate surplus food to FareShare, a food distribution charity. Since 2017, we’ve donated the equivalent of more than five million meals to those in need. We also work with Kitchen Social and The Felix Project to donate stock to people facing food insecurity.
Our Give a Little Love campaign has already raised over £3m for long term charity partners FareShare, Home-Start and local community groups, with a further £2m pledged earlier this year by the Partnership. We also donated nearly 5,000 items of warm clothing to Home-Start to distribute to families during winter.
In February we launched a new programme with FareShare - Farm to Family - becoming the first UK supermarket to take surplus food straight from our largest suppliers and farms to the plates of those in need.