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Programme aimed at young

SBC teams up with partners to tackle food poverty

Jane Wood headshotBusinesses are being asked to contribute to a scheme aimed at alleviating food poverty. Scottish Business in the Community is joining forces with Children in Scotland and UK food supply company Brakes to tackle the issue and its links with wellbeing, learning and attainment.

The Food, Families and Futures programme will initially focus on two Scottish communities with significant levels of child poverty – Ibrox in Glasgow and Irvine in North Ayrshire.

Children in Scotland is leading the project, with SBC offering its convening power to gain participation from the “responsible” business movement.

Brakes will support the Ibrox and Irvine projects directly. SBC is encouraging organisations to engage with youth education, support the disadvantaged in to employment, and understand the values of social sustainability.

Announcing the project, Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock said: “The level of food poverty we are seeing in Scotland now, and its impact on children and families in terms of their security, wellbeing and education, is completely unacceptable. Families deserve better.

“Free school meals are a lifeline for many families, but when this provision ends, at weekends and in particular during holidays, it can mean crisis. That’s why we have taken action to devise a project that will empower schools and communities to access meals and activities during these key times of greatest need.”

Jane Wood (pictured), chief executive of Scottish Business in the Community, said:  “SBC is determined to unlock the education, employment and enterprise potential of our disadvantaged communities. We are proud to support Children in Scotland’s innovative Food, Families and Futures project.

“We will use our convening power in Scotland’s responsible business movement to encourage business to play its powerful role as a positive force for change for individuals, communities and society as a whole.”

Glasgow currently has 38.8% of primary school pupils, and 29.8% of secondary in receipt of free school meals. Ibrox and Irvine were identified as the first target areas for the programme because of evidence of high levels of food poverty.

Ibrox Primary School has around 250 nursery and primary school children. Take-up of free school meals is around 71% (up from 47% in 2013), making it among the highest entitlement in Glasgow.

Irvine Royal Academy has around 33% of pupils in receipt of free school meals. Most of the school catchment consists of areas of multiple deprivation, with some falling into the 5% most deprived in Scotland. National food supplier Brakes will be leading the provision of food in Ibrox and Irvine.

John McLintock, managing director of Brakes Scotland, said: “As part of our groundbreaking Meals & More programme, our role will be to ensure good quality meals are available in these communities and that our practical input, alongside Children in Scotland and SBC, helps tackle child poverty.”

With Children in Scotland, SBC and Brakes collaborating, the project combines the knowledge, expertise, values and networks of the third sector, business and industry respectively.

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