In response to the UK Government’s April 2021 uplift of the Healthy Start voucher scheme, Marcus Rashford MBE and Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge, have joined forces to launch ‘FULL TIME: Get Cooking with Marcus & Tom’.
This nationwide initiative is in support of the #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign launched by Marcus in September 2020, and in partnership with his Child Poverty Taskforce, supported by Facebook and Instagram.
Together, the goal is to call ‘Full Time’ on child food poverty.
No child should ever have to go to bed hungry. Today, far too many do. Indeed, before COVID-19, 4.2 million children were living in poverty in the UK, which equates to 30% of children or nine in every classroom of 30.
In addition, demand from children for food-bank services has increased by 121%.
Marcus’s ambition is to shine a bright light on this national issue but more importantly, equip children with vital life skills to support seamless navigation into adult life; phase one of that ambition focuses on food education and kitchen confidence, with the help of Tom Kerridge, who is now part of the National Food Strategy team.
Together, Marcus and Tom will unite to drive change at both a national and grassroots level.
The ambitious project aims to equip families with the skills to get the most out of the Healthy Start vouchers which from April will equate to £4.25 per child under the age of 4 per week and to encourage a 100% take up rate from eligible families.
FULL TIME wish to eliminate stigma around the use of these vouchers and encourage parents and carers to enjoy one hour of valuable time each week, cooking with their children.
Tom has created 52 delicious, family recipes, as part of this 12 month long programme. The recipes are simple and easy to follow with emphasis on limited equipment and inclusion of store cupboard goods with a longer shelf life.
From Sunday 25th April recipes will be available to pick up in various forms from selected supermarkets every Sunday morning.
Each recipe will feature a QR code linking through to the ‘FULL TIME’ Instagram page where users can access short-form tutorial videos, hosted by Tom, Marcus and a selection of celebrity guests and families.
Recipes will include tasty, substantial meals such as tortilla pizzas, chicken satay stir fry, fish pie jackets, Mexican style chicken, broccoli and cauliflower cheese, and creamy chicken pie.
Each Sunday, on the @FULLTIMEMEALS Instagram page, a cook-along video will launch with Tom teaching Marcus, a celebrity guest or a family how to cook that week’s recipe.
Children and their parents or carers will be encouraged to give each recipe a try at home sharing their results via Instagram with Tom and Marcus and the hashtag #fulltimemeals.
“Following Government investment into Healthy Start it was important to me that we demonstrated the power in collaboration,” said Marcus.
“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.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done here, I’m thankful for Tom, thankful for the Child Food Poverty Task Force members, and I can’t wait to see what the response is.”
Tom, who launched The Bull & Bear restaurant at Stock Exchange Hotel in 2019, said he and Marcus “are super proud to be working together to spread the message of how easy simple cookery can be, for even the most inexperienced of cooks.
“We don’t want you to be fighting with your kitchen, and we don’t expect you to have lots of equipment, you can still make great tasting, fun and filling food.
“Marcus has always been one to encourage life skills and cooking is a valuable skill that everyone can embrace and that will see you through the whole of your life. (Marcus even admitted to never peeling a carrot before, now he can!).
“If you can engage with food from the start, you can grow, develop and build your own collection of recipes, and enjoy cooking together.”
Find out more at endchildfoodpoverty.org.