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Co-op puts hand in pocket to support Rashford bid to boost poverty food vouchers

PUBLISHED: 11:32 11 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:31 11 September 2020

Chelsea's Gary Cahill (left) and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford battle for the ball during a Premier League match at Old Trafford. The footballer has launched a campaign to help children out of food poverty   Picture: NICK POTTS/PA WIRE

Chelsea's Gary Cahill (left) and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford battle for the ball during a Premier League match at Old Trafford. The footballer has launched a campaign to help children out of food poverty Picture: NICK POTTS/PA WIRE

PA Wire

A regional retailer aims to help customers living on the breadline by supporting a child poverty campaign started by football superstar Marcus Rashford.

East of England Co-op is making up the shortfall in the value of government food poverty vouchers to support Marcus Rashford's campaign to help poor families Picture: ANGLIA PICTURE AGENCYEast of England Co-op is making up the shortfall in the value of government food poverty vouchers to support Marcus Rashford's campaign to help poor families Picture: ANGLIA PICTURE AGENCY

The East of England Co-op – which owns 120 stores across Suffolk, Norfolk and north Essex – is joining forces with the Manchester United player’s Child Food Poverty Taskforce to urge the government to increase the value of its Healthy Start vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25.

But in the absence of government action, the retail chain has gone one step further and says that of September 21, 2020, it will fund the balance of £1.15 per transaction from its own pockets to bring the value of the vouchers up to the £4.24 level the campaign is seeking.

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The retailer says it plans to support the increase until the government takes action to boost the value of the vouchers.

East of England Co-op joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor  Picture: DANIEL JONESEast of England Co-op joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor Picture: DANIEL JONES

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Marcus Rashford said: “Little steps make huge differences to so many in need. Proud to see another Task Force member take it upon themselves to cover some of the deficit felt by families across the UK.”

East of England Co-op joint boss Roger Grosvenor called on government to “do the right thing” and help poverty-stricken families.

“We believe that all children should have access to good food, supporting not only their nutritional and mental health but also providing them with the energy they need to learn effectively,” he said.

“We’re very proud to be a part of the Child Food Poverty Taskforce, and wholeheartedly back the campaign to increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers. We feel it is such an important issue , that we’ve taken the decision to fund the additional £1.15 ourselves, allowing customers who shop with a Healthy Start voucher to purchase products up to the value of £4.25.

“Retailers, businesses and individuals, like Marcus, are stepping up and doing their bit. What we need now is government to take notice, listen and do the right thing for these children and their families.”


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