A MAJOR York employer is to support 2,570 families who might otherwise go hungry during the school summer holidays.

On behalf of its 2,570 workers in York and Halifax the support, from one family to another, is part of Nestlé’s new £1 million investment to work with social enterprises Community Shop and FoodCloud to help 8,000 families across the UK.

Community Shop, which works in areas experiencing some of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK, including two locations in Yorkshire, will use the investment to provide fresh, nutritious meals for vulnerable children and their families.

The funding will also support Community Shop’s broader aims to build stronger individuals and more confident communities through services ranging from debt advice, training and personal development; to a summer programme of events which aims to bring together families to celebrate the power of food, with the sharing of recipes and cooking demonstrations, amongst many other activities such as virtual exercise classes.

Stefano Agostini, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé UK & Ireland said: “Access to food is an urgent problem made worse by this global pandemic. As schools begin their summer break today, millions of children are at risk of holiday hunger. On behalf of our 8,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, we will be helping 8,000 low-income families to access food and services over the summer.

“This is only a fraction of what is required, of course. Hunger and food insecurity are serious problems that require significant government-led action across the board. Nestlé is ready to play its part and we are looking at a range of further initiatives, whether that’s increasing our regular donations to food banks or encouraging our people to use some of their 16,000 annual volunteer days to further support COVID-19 recovery efforts in their local communities.”

“The impact of Covid-19 will be far reaching but we must all take this chance to consider how we can do things differently for the future and contribute to a strong recovery. Nestlé UK & Ireland will focus its efforts over the coming months to build a more flexible and diverse workplace, adapt our business, help improve access to food, contribute to a green recovery and support youth employment.”

John Marren, Founder & Chairman of Community Shop said: “We are incredibly grateful for such a generous investment. It means we can reach more children and families and have an even greater positive impact on the lives of the people in the communities we are so proud to serve. The funding comes at a critical time, with many families facing increased hardship due to COVID-19, and at the onset of the school holidays, where many families struggle to access food and wider support.

“Thanks to Nestlé’s incredible support, we can provide an invaluable lifeline to so many, and work together to create a legacy in our communities. It is thanks to the fantastic backing of industry partners like Nestlé that we are able to deliver such a positive social, economic and environmental impact.”

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that 1 in 5 households is experiencing poverty today. Poverty is a key driver for a household’s inability to access food.